In the classification of Head and Neck Tumors, published in 2005 by the World Health Organization Classification, the odontogenic
keratocyst has been reclassified as a benign intraosseous neoplasm, calling it "keratocystic odontogenic tumor" (KCOT).
differences on the molecular level between KCOT and other odontogenic cystic lesions suggest a different biological origin.
Genetic and molecular research regarding odontogenic tumors, and KCOTs in particular, has led to an increasing amount of knowledge
and understanding of their physiopathological pathways.
A review of the biological behavior of this recognized aggressive
pathological entity of the jaws and a contemporary outline of the molecular (growth factors, p53, PCNA and Ki-67, bcl-2) and
genetic (PTCH, SHH) alterations associated with this odontogenic neoplasm provides a better understanding of the mechanisms
involved in its development and strengthen the current concept that the KCOT should, indeed, be regarded as a neoplasm.
markers known to be rapidly induced in response to growth factors, tumor promoters, cytokines, bacterial endotoxins, oncogenes,
hormones and shear stress, such as COX-2, may also shed new light on the biological mechanisms involved in the development
of these benign but sometimes aggressive neoplasms of the jaws.