Background: Heterogeneity in oral potentially malignant disorder (OPMD) poses a problem for accurate prognosis that impacts on treatment strategy and patient outcome. A holistic assessment based on gene expression signatures from both the tumour cells and their microenvironment is necessary to provide a more precise prognostic assessment than just tumour cell signatures alone. Methods: We reformulated our previously established multigene qPCR test, quantitative Malignancy Index Diagnostic System (qMIDS) with new genes involved in matrix/stroma and immune modulation of the tumour microenvironment. An algorithm calculates and converts a panel of 16 gene mRNA expression levels into a qMIDS index to quantify risk of malignancy for each sample. Results: The new qMIDSV2 assay was validated in a UK oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cohort (n = 282) of margin and tumour core samples demonstrating significantly better diagnostic performance (AUC = 0.945) compared to previous qMIDSV1 (AUC = 0.759). Performance of qMIDSV2 were independently validated in Chinese (n = 35; AUC = 0.928) and Indian (n = 95; AUC = 0.932) OSCC cohorts. Further, 5-year retrospective analysis on an Indian dysplastic lesion cohort (n = 30) showed that qMIDSV2 was able to significantly differentiate between lesions without transformation and those with malignant transformation. Conclusions: This study validated a novel multi-gene qPCR test on a total of 535 tissue specimens from UK, China and India, demonstrating a rapid minimally invasive method that has a potential application for dysplasia risk stratification. Further study is required to establish if qMIDSV2 could be used to improve OPMD patient management, guide treatment strategy and reduce oral cancer burden.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research