Ameloblastoma is an odontogenic tumor arising from the epithelial rests of Malassez, occurring mostly in the mandible and the tumor arises from the epithelium that plays a role in the process of tooth development. A marked geographic variation is apparent in the relative incidences of various odontogenic tumors. In most cases, an ameloblastoma is usually asymptomatic, grows slowly, and can expand jaws. Microscopically, ameloblastoma is composed of epithelial islands in collagen connective tissue stroma. The ameloblastoma also has a few variations in histopathological appearance, but the most common types are follicular and plexiform. However, the trigger for neoplastic transformation of the epithelium has remained unknown. Besides its invasive characteristic, the ameloblastoma also has a tendency to recur, therefore, this tumor is usually considered as a localized malignant tumor. Ameloblastoma is relatively not sensitive to radiotherapy, therefore, resection surgery or hemisection are the choices of treatment.
Histopathology will show cells that have the tendency to move the nucleus away from the basement membrane. This process is referred to as "Reverse Polarization". The follicular type will have outer arrangement of columnar or palisaded ameloblast like cells and inner zone of triangular shaped cells resembling stellate reticulum in bell stage. While chemotherapy, radiation therapy, curettage and liquid nitrogen have been effective in some cases of ameloblastoma, surgical resection or enucleation remains the most definitive treatment for this condition.
There is evidence that suppression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 may inhibit the local invasiveness of ameloblastoma, however, this was only demonstrated in vitro. There is also some research suggesting that α5β1 integrin may participate in the local invasiveness of ameloblastomas.