Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-50

Topical application of green tea polyphenol (−) epigallocatechin-3-gallate for prevention of recurrent oral neoplastic lesions

1 Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA
2 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA
3 Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA
4 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
Angela J Yoon
630 West 168th Street, PH15W-1562, New York, NY 10032
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Source of Support: This work was supported by a K12 Career Development Award (A. Yoon) provided through the Clinical and Translational Science Award KL2 RRO24157 (H. Ginsberg) from the NCRR/NIH, UL1 RR024156 from NCRR/NIH (H. Ginsberg) and NIEHS/NIH grant P30 ES009089 (R. Santella), Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-8844.99891

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Objective: A preliminary study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of using an oral cancer chemopreventive agent (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most biologically active component in the green tea extract, in a form of "swish-and-spit" mouthwash. Such application of EGCG is beneficial as it maximizes exposure of the oral mucosa to the agent but minimizes systemic side effect. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on individuals suspected to have oral field cancerization who are at a high risk for developing recurrent oral precancerous and carcinomatous lesions. EGCG was used as a daily mouthwash for 7 days. EGCG's ability to modulate target molecules implicated in oral carcinogenesis was assessed by measuring the change in the expression levels of biomarkers. Results: Immunohistochemical expressions of phosphoactivated epidermal growth factor receptor (pEGFR), cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2), and ki-67 were evaluated at baseline and at the endpoint (day 8). Although not statistically significant, overall decrease in expression levels of pEGFR (27.5%), cox-2 (15.9%), and ki-67 positive cells (51.8%) was observed following EGCG treatment. Moreover, a detectable level of EGCG was found in saliva but not in plasma after the 1-week treatment regime, demonstrating local availability of EGCG in oral mucosa without significant systemic absorption. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to explore use of oral cancer chemopreventive agent in the form of mouthwash in patients with oral field cancerization. Although a definitive conclusion was not reached due to limited sample size, if proven effective, EGCG therapy may offer a non-invasive preventive modality for oral field cancerization.

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