Immunohistochemistry is important in diagnosis, investigation, and determining the behaviour and pathogenesis of oral tumours. Immunohistochemistry protocols were developed using antibodies tagged with chromogens to identify specific markers. Cell proliferative activity has been extensively investigated in head and neck tumours. Ki-67/MIB-1 immunostaining, tritiated thymidine or bromodeoxyuridine labelling indices, DNA S-phase fraction, proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression, potential doubling time and analysis of the nucleolar organizer region associated proteins (AgNORs) have earlier shown significant correlation with prognosis in many cases of tumours of the oral cavity, salivary glands, pharynx and larynx. Provided that large and homogeneous series are evaluated by standardized methods, cell proliferative activity can still be regarded as an inexpensive and reliable prognostic factor in head and neck tumours.
Keywords Immunohistochemistry, cell proliferative activity, head and neck tumourís, prognosis.