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Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
ISSN: 1394-195X
Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010, pp. 19-26
Bioline Code: mj10028
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010, pp. 19-26

 en Correlation of Nuclear Morphometry and AgNOR Score with Radiation Response in Squamous Cell Cancers of the Head and Neck: A Preliminary Study
Biswal, Biswa Mohan & Othman, Nor Hayati


Background: Prediction of radiation response before the completion of the radiotherapy schedule is challenging. Information about radiation response could help oncologist to choose the appropriate combination and sequence of therapies in the multidisciplinary management of cancer.
Methods: The study involved 26 patients with squamous cell cancers of the head and neck region who received radiotherapy to a dose of 30 Gy in 10 fractions over a 2-week period as part of a split-course technique. Fine-needle aspiration cytology was performed on day 1 and day 5 of the schedule. The silver staining of the nuclear organiser region (AgNOR) and nuclear morphometric study were done on both days.
Results: The median age of the patients was 44 years old. The primary tumours were distributed in the nasopharynx (n = 11), larynx and hypopharynx (n = 5), metastatic node (n = 4), and miscellaneous tumours were found in the head and neck sub sites (n = 6). The mean initial AgNOR score was 3.0, range 1.2–7.0. The median of nuclear and nucleolar diameters were 11.07 μm, range 7.70–16.6 μm, and 2.92 μm, range 1.09–11.66 μm, respectively. Patients with a pre-radiotherapy AgNOR score of greater than 2.5 were associated with disease progression and metastasis. However, the increased of nuclear diameter on day 5 compared with baseline predicted a good radiation response in patients (P = 0.016).
Conclusion: Intra-radiotherapy nuclear morphometry combined with baseline AgNOR score could be a simple and useful tool for the prediction of radiation response in head and neck cancers.

AgNORs, fine-needle aspiration, squamous cell cancer, radio-sensitivity, radiotherapy, radiology, medical sciences

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