This study aims to investigate the diagnostic value of peripheral blood circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and its correlation with the clinicopathological features of OSCC.Methods
Ninety-three patients diagnosed as OSCC in the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University from May 2019 to May 2020 were selected as the experimental group, and 20 healthy volunteers were employed as the control group. The CTCs value of peripheral blood of the patients were measured by CTCs detection technology, and its clinical significance was analyzed.Results
The CTCs values in the experimental group were higher than those in the control group, and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.000 1). The CTCs value in the peripheral blood of patients in the experimental group were not correlated with gender, site of onset, and presence or absence of peripheral tissue infiltration (P>0.05), but was correlated with age (P=0.022), tumor T stage (P=0.02), tumor N stage (P=0.007 5), tumor M stage (P=0.013), clinical stage (P=0.029), early or late stage (P=0.022), tumor differentiation degree (P<0.001), and node metastasis (P=0.006 4). The AUC value of CTCs in OSCC diagnosis was 0.925, and the energy efficiency was statistically significant [P=0.000, 95%CI (0.876, 0.974)]. When the CTC value was 8.450 FU/3 mL, the maximum value of the Yoden index was 0.853, and the sensitivity and specificity of OSCC diagnosis were 90.3% and 95.0%, respectively. The AUC value of CTCs in the diagnosis of OSCC metastasis was 0.691, and the energy efficiency was statistically significant [P=0.000, 95%CI (0.580, 0.803)]. When the blood CTC value was 12.250 FU/3 mL, the maximum value of Yoden index was 0.367, the sensitivity was 63.6%, and the specificity was 73.3%. Multivariate regression analysis showed that buccal tumor was negatively correlated with CTCs in patients with OSCC (P=0.001 08), N2 stage (P=0.000 74) and M stage (P=0.026 38). High differentiation (P<0.000 1) and moderate differentiation (P=0.001 5) were negatively correlated with CTCs values in patients with OSCC.Conclusion
Peripheral blood CTCs has important clinical value for early screening, auxiliary diagnosis, evaluation of metastasis, and determination of malignant degree, progression, and pathological grade of OSCC and a relatively reliable tumor detection indicator.