1049P - The changing oral microbial ecosystem in OSCC from diagnosis to radiotherapy

Date 01 October 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Poster presentation III
Topics Head and Neck Cancers
Surgical Oncology
Radiation Oncology
Presenter Sonalika Ghate
Authors S.W. Ghate1, A.T. Sivakumar2, K. Bhat3, B.R. Patil4, M.V. Muddapur5
  • 1Oral Pathology, Hitkarini Dental College and Hospital, 482001 - Jabalpur/IN
  • 2Oral Pathology, S.D.M. College of Dental Sciences & Hospital, Dharwad/IN
  • 3Microbiology, Maratha Mandal’s Nathajirao G. Halgekar Institute of Dental Sciences & Research Centre, Belgaum/IN
  • 4Surgical Oncology, Karnataka Cancer Treatment and Research Institute, Hubli/IN
  • 5Statistics, Karnataka university, Dharwad/IN



Multiple factors influence the oral microflora (OMF) in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). These could range from tobacco habits to radiotherapy administered. A preliminary study performed in our hospital revealed the differential support offered by each of these factors on various microbial groups - aerobes, anaerobes, gram negative anaerobes (GNAB) and Candida.


The study attempts to analyse the microbial alteration so as to improve understanding of the possible impact that OMF could create on mucositis and other morbidities that radiation would leave behind. Microbial analysis of saliva samples was done from healthy volunteers (n = 35), tobacco chewers (n = 37) (Age & Sex matched), OSCC (n = 32) and during radiotherapy (n = 31) of these patients (∼ 50% study samples form a series). Frequency of isolation and mean colony forming units obtained were subjected to Kruscal - Wallis, Mann - Whitney (unpaired values) and Wilcoxson - signed rank test (paired values) for comparison.


No isolation of Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Proteus in normal samples and Corynebacteria, Staphylococcus epidermidis in study samples. Tobacco – induced change: Among aerobes, E. coli, Citrobacter, Proteus, Klebsiella pneumonia and Enterobacter increased (p < 0.05), whereas, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Corynebacteria, Staphylococcus epidermidis, aerobic Streptococci decrease (p < 0.05) significantly. Amongst the anaerobes, anaerobic Streptococci, Prevotella decreased while Fusobacteria, P. gingivalis increased, but, all non - significantly (p > 0.05). Tumor - induced change: E. coli, Enterobacter and anaerobic Streptococci, Fusobacteria, Prevotella (anaerobes & GNAB) significantly increased (p < 0.05). Radiation – induced change: Among aerobes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus epidermidis decreased. Proteus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter, and amongst anaerobes, Streptococci increased (p < 0.05) significantly. A non-significant increase was noted in Fusobacteria and P. gingivalis.


The study impresses on the rapidly modifying nature of OMF that accommodates non – residents and increasing proportions of more pathogenic microorganisms that may contribute to the enhanced morbidity.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.