Early and accurate diagnosis of oral potentially malignant lesions (OPML) is of critical importance in preventing malignant transformation. Although histopathological interpretation of the degree of epithelial dysplasia is considered the gold standard for diagnosis, this method is subjective and lacks sensitivity. Therefore, many attempts have been made to identify objective molecular biomarkers to improve diagnosis. Microarray technology has the advantage of screening the expression of the whole genome making it one of the best tools for searching for novel biomarkers. However, microarray studies of OPMLs are limited, and no review has been published to highlight and compare their findings. In this paper, we systematically review all studies that have incorporated microarray analyses in the investigation of gene profile alterations in OPMLs and suggest a set of commonly dysregulated genes across multiple gene expression profile studies. This list of common genes may help focus selection of markers for further analysis regarding their importance in the diagnosis and prognosis of OPMLs.
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