Oral cancer is the cancerous tissue growth located in the oral cavity. It may arise as a primary lesion originating
in any of the oral tissues, by metastasis from a distant site of origin, or by extension from a neighboring anatomic structure,
such as the nasal cavity or the maxillary sinus. Smoking and other tobacco use are associated with about 75 percent
of oral cancer cases. Alcohol use is another high-risk activity associated with oral cancer. Infection with human papillomavirus
(HPV), particularly type 16 (there are over 120 types), is a known risk factor and independent causative factor for
oral cancer. Oncogenes, gain-of-function mutations of highly regulated normal cellular counterparts (proto-oncogenes),
are likely involved in the initiation and progression of oral neoplasia. Cellular oncogenes were initially discovered by the
ability of tumor cell DNA to induce transformation in gene transfer assays. Mechanisms of activation of these cellular
oncogenes include point mutations and DNA re-arrangements. Several of these cellular oncogenes are homologs
of retroviral oncogenes (e.g., the ras genes); others are new oncogenes. Tumor suppressor genes or anti-oncogenes have
been documented to confer potent negative regulatory controls which are lost due to chromosomal alterations during
tumor formation. Functional loss of multiple tumor suppressor genes is believed to be the major event leading to the
development of malignancy. Treatment is done till date with the help of radiation therapy, considering the removal of
tumor which proceeds with the surgery. Chemotherapy is also used but not to a wide extent and that too has to be done
with radiation and research work is still going on the drug discovery for this disease, hence looking towards this fact we
opted for the work in this area looking into the successful way of the treatment for oral cancer. The present review is
compilation of the data pertaining to biochemistry and molecular biology of oral carcinoma and would certainly provide
new insights to explore the development of nutraceuticals based on the hypothesis projected by future studies on computational
biotechnology of oral carcinoma.
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