Objective: Angiogenesis or neovascularization has long been known to aid in progression and metastasis of malignant tumors. Tumor angiogenesis is a complex event mediated by angiogenic factors released from cancer cells and or by host immune cells. Mast cells may induce tumor progression and potentiate metastasis by stimulating angiogenesis. The purpose of the present study was to validate topographic distribution of micro vessel density (MVD) and mast cell density (MCD) and help to elucidate the possible role of mast cells in tumor angiogenesis and correlating this with advanced disease parameters. Study Design: MVD and MCD were investigated in tumor specimens from 30 patients diagnosed with different histologic grades of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Intratumor vessels were stained with collagen Type IV antibody and mast cells with Toluidine blue before being measured by light microscopy. Results: There was a significant correlation between MVD and disease progression and number of blood vessels increased from well to poorly differentiated OSCC where as MCD decreased. Conclusions: These findings suggest that angiogenesis indeed occur in OSCC and might be used as an index to inflect the aggression of the disease however mast cells make up only a part of complex process of angiogenesis along with other factors secreted by tumor.
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