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Use of DNA image cytometry in conducting oral cancer screening in rural India

Cytopathology. 2022 Jun 17. doi: 10.1111/cyt.13159. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Oral cancer screening can assist in the early detection of oral potentially malignant lesions (OPMLs) and prevention of oral cancers. It can be challenging for clinicians to differentiate OPMLs from benign conditions. Adjunct screening tools such as fluorescence visualization (FV) and DNA image cytometry (DNA-ICM) have shown success in identifying OPMLs in high-risk clinics. For the first time we aimed to assess these technologies into Indian rural settings and evaluate if these tools helped clinicians identify high-risk lesions during screening.

METHODS: Dental students and residents screened participants in five screening camps held in villages outside of Hyderabad, India, using extraoral, intraoral, and FV examinations. Lesion and normal tissue brushings were collected for DNA-ICM analysis and cytology.

RESULTS: Of the 1116 participants screened, 184 lesions were observed in 152 participants. Based on white light examination (WLE), 45 lesions were recommended for biopsy. Thirty-five were completed on site; 25(71%) were diagnosed with low-grade dysplasias (17 mild dysplasia, 8 moderate dysplasia) and the remaining 10 showed no signs of dysplasia. FV loss was noted in all but one dysplastic lesion and showed a sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 17%. Cytology combined with DNA-ICM had a 64% sensitivity and 86% specificity in detecting dysplasia.

CONCLUSION: DNA-ICM combined with cytology identified majority of dysplastic lesions and identified additional lesions, which were not considered high-risk during WLE to biopsy on site. Efforts to follow-up with these participants are ongoing. FV identified most high-risk lesions but added limited value over WLE.

PMID:35713951 | DOI:10.1111/cyt.13159

By Nevin Manimala

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