Introduction. Oral cancer is a multistep process involving enhanced activation of proto-oncogenes. Survivin (anti-apoptotic protein) is one of such proto-oncogenes that contribute to the carcinogenesis by deregulating cell proliferation. Expression of these proteins in cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions helps a better understanding of the etiology, treatment and prognosis.

Aim. To evaluate qualitative and quantitative expression of survivin in healthy mucosa, oral lichen planus (OLP) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).

Materials. A total of 70 cases of formalin fixed paraffin embedded blocks, of which 20 healthy mucosa, 20 OSCC and 30 OLP were included in the study and stained immunohistochemically using antibodies against survivin monoclonal antibody.

Methodology. 4μm sections were stained immunohistochemically, both nuclear and cytoplasmic staining was considered as positive for survivin. Positive and negative stained cells were counted with the help of Olympus BX51 rarefaction microscope and were analyzed quantitatively using image analysis pro plus software. Representative fields were randomly selected at 40X high power magnification. Values obtained were evaluated and tabulated for statistical analysis.

Results. There was a statistically significant relation between the expressions of survivin among healthy mucosa, OLP, OSCC with a p value of 0.001.

Conclusion. Presence of survivin expression in healthy mucosa, OLP and OSCC, which is an inhibitor of apoptosis protein, can be identified as a useful diagnostic tool for the identification of precancerous lesions and conditions which are at higher risk for progression into invasive carcinoma.


carcinoma, healthy mucosa, OLP, OSCC, survivin, diagnostic tool