Metastatic tumours to the oral cavity: a survival study with a special focus on gingival metastases

J. Seoane, I. van der Waal, R.I.F. van der Waal, J. Cameselle-Teijeiro, I. Anton, A. Tardio, J.J. Alcázar-Otero, P. Varela-Centelles, P. Diz

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Seoane J, Van der Waal I, Van der Waal RIF, Cameselle-Teijeiro J, Anton I, Tardio A, Alcazar-Otero JJ, Varela-Centelles P, Diz P. Metastatic tumours to the oral cavity: a survival study with a special focus on gingival metastases. J Clin Periodontol 2009; 36: 488-492. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01407.x. To describe survival from oral metastases, particularly gingival metastases, and to identify clinical prognostic variables. A series of 39 patients were studied, analysing age, gender, primary tumour site, oral metastases site and histological type. Mean age: 62.3 +/- 9.2 years, with similar prevalence by gender. The most frequent sites for primary tumours were the kidney (20.5%), lung (20.5%) and breast (20.5%). Gingival metastases represented 63.6% of all oral soft tissue metastases (7/11). The average time between primary tumour diagnosis and appearance of the gingival metastases was 9.7 +/- 13.4 months. The median survival time since gingival metastases appearance was 5.2 months [95% confidence interval (CI)=0-13.6]; no statistically significant difference with other oral locations was found by the Kaplan-Meier curves (log rank: 0.29; p > 0.05). Oral metastases involving the gingiva were more frequently found in the maxilla (85.7% versus 14.3%), whereas intra-osseous metastatic tumours were more frequent in the mandible (77.8% versus 22.2%; p <0.05; odds ratio=21; 95% CI=2.0-210.1). None of the variables considered had a prognostic value as indicated by the Kaplan-Meier test. The data in this paper show that 25% (and in other studies up to 37%) of oral metastases came from unknown primary tumours; thus a biopsy with histopathologic analysis is mandatory for every patient with a gingival mass. This study reinforces the significance of gingival metastases as a poor prognosis indicator. Dental practitioners should suspect that gingival masses mimicking benign or inflammatory lesions may represent a sign of underlying malignant tumours
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)488-492
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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