Simple saliva test could help detect oral cancer

October 2nd, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) Clinicians could detect oral cancer with a simple test that detects proteins in saliva, according to a report.David T. Wong, associate dean for research, Los Angeles School of Dentistry (LASD), University of California, conducted the research.

Previous studies have shown that saliva can be a useful diagnostic tool, but this is the first study to globally evaluate saliva protein levels from oral cancer patients.

Since it is very simple to collect and process saliva fluids, the discovery of these biomarkers may lead to a useful clinical tool for noninvasive diagnosis of oral cancer in the future, according to an LASD release.

“This test is currently not available, but we are developing point-of-care microfluidic devices to detect these markers that we can use in clinical trials,” said Shen Hu, assistant professor of oral biology at the LASD.

Researchers collected saliva samples from 64 patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma and 64 healthy patients. Five candidate biomarkers were successfully validated, confirming the presence of oral cancer 93 percent of the time.

These findings appeared in the Wednesday edition of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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