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CO2 Laser Effective for Oral Precancerous Lesions

-- Lisa Cockrell, PhD

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser surgery is an effective treatment strategy for oral precancerous lesions, resulting in up to a 64 percent disease-free clinical outcome, according to research published in the January issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

O. Hamadah, D.D.S., Ph.D., of Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated the efficacy of CO2 laser surgery for excision of a single, new dysplastic oral precancerous lesion in 78 patients. Patients were followed for at least two years, during which time the influence of several factors were examined, including clinical-pathological parameters, socio-demographic parameters, and the presence or absence of any remaining dysplasia in the excision margins.

At the most recent clinical follow-up (mean 58 months), 64 percent remained disease free, the researchers report. Of the remaining patients, 32 percent developed local recurrent dysplasia, and 4 percent developed distinct oral squamous cell carcinoma. Although 55 percent of patients showed clear excision margins, 26 percent showed moderate or severe dysplasia on histopathological examination, the report indicates. Patient demographics did not affect outcome, but smokers were at a significantly higher risk of recurrence, the investigators found.

"In the absence of standardized treatment protocols for oral precancerous lesions, particularly those exhibiting significant dysplasia, carbon dioxide laser surgery is an effective tool, offering precise tissue excision, full histopathological assessment of specimens, and minimal post-operative scarring and morbidity," the authors write.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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