About this Research Topic
Oral cancer, mainly represented by squamous cell carcinomas, is one of the highly prevalent cancers worldwide and is the leading cause of cancer-mortality in certain regions in the world such as South and Central Asia. It is a major and growing global public health problem, once the late diagnosis, aggressive clinical behavior and the high rates of morbidity and mortality are main features of this disease. Many research efforts have been designed to identify reliable and unequivocal diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to understand molecular and cellular mechanisms, which drive oral cancer initiation, maintenance and tumor progression, and different classes of biomarkers have been described, but only few have been validated on well-designed clinical cohort-based prospective multicenter studies. The basic prognostic factor in oral cancer is encompassed in the classical TNM classification system: tumor size (T), regional nodal involvement (N) and the presence or absence of distant metastasis (M). Although the system is imperfect, partly because tumors with similar morphology and stage may behave differently due to their differing biological characteristics, it is widely used in treatment planning, prognostication, and comparison of outcomes. Prognostic biomarker is the clinical feature or biologic characteristic that provide information directly linked to the patients' outcomes, including therapeutic response, disease progression and tumor recurrence. It may additionally represent a potential therapeutic target. Despite of the advances in oral basic science and treatment approach, the overall survival rate of patients with oral cancer is poor and remains stagnant at 40-50% in the last three decades. The characterization of biomarkers with prognostic impact offers unprecedented prospects for translational research, with direct impact on therapeutic decision-making, post-therapeutic monitoring, and potential development of novel therapeutic targets. This is one of the top priorities in oral cancer field to revert the obscure scenario of poor outcomes.
This Research Topic of the Oral Cancers section of the new journal Frontiers in Oral Health provides an international and interdisciplinary common sharing platform to divulge the most recent perspective and progresses in biomarkers research for oral cancer. High-quality reviews, mini-reviews and original researches involving experimental data of basic and clinical research are welcome. Our scope includes areas of interest relating to the epidemiological, clinical, histological, cellular and molecular (including “omics” such as genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, among others) levels.
Studies are not limited to oral squamous cell carcinomas, since studies involving tumors of the salivary glands, odontogenic apparatus and their remnants and jaw bones will also be considered.
Keywords: oral cancer, biomarkers, prognosis, therapeutic decision-making, translational medicine
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.