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March 9, 2006

The First Clinical Test For Saliva-Based Oral Cancer Detection: Ready Now

Topics: Medicine

The purpose of this study was to explore the presence of informative RNA biomarkers from human serum transcriptome, and evaluate the serum transcriptome diagnostics for disease detection. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) was selected as the proof-of-concept disease. - Abstract

Scientists at Dr. David Wong's laboratory at the School of Dentistry at UCLA have discovered that seven RNAs, molecules that carry information in cells, when found in saliva are very useful for oral cancer detection.

Today, at the 35th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, Wong's research team is reporting for the first time that they have developed a standardized "Saliva RNA Test for Oral Cancer" ready for clinical usage. The "Saliva RNA Test" has been tested in 100 oral cancer and healthy people, and it has been confirmed that four saliva oral cancer RNA biomarkers are highly accurate in detecting oral cancer.

Oral cancer is the 6th most common cancer in men and the 14th most common cancer in women. In the US, oral cancer will be diagnosed in an estimated 30,000 Americans this year and will cause more than 8,000 deaths. The disease kills approximately one person every hour. Oral cancer can spread quickly. The majority of oral cancers are diagnosed in late stages, which accounts for the high death rates. Only half of those diagnosed with the disease will survive more than five years. However, if the cancer is detected early, there is an 80 to 90% chance for survival. It is therefore extremely important to detect oral cancer as early as possible, when it can be treated more successfully, thus enhancing the rate of survival.

Currently, the early detection of oral cancer depends on a thorough oral cancer examination, usually by a dentist or other qualified health care provider, for possible signs and symptoms of this disease. Scientists are working on technologies and biomarkers for the early detection of oral cancer. Saliva, an easy-to-obtain and non-invasive body fluid, has recently been shown to harbor highly informative biomarkers for oral cancer detection.

The saliva oral cancer RNA signature has been tested in over 300 saliva samples from oral cancer patients and healthy people, and the signature is always present in higher levels in the saliva of oral cancer patients than in saliva from healthy people, with an overall accuracy rate of about 85%.

This is the first standardized saliva-based test for clinical oral cancer detection and will have enormous clinical value in reducing the mortality and morbidity for oral cancer patients, as well as improving their quality of life.

1560 Patient-based Salivary and Serum Transcriptome Biomarkers for OSCC DetectionDiabetes mellitus and tumors of the oral cavity--epidemiologic correlations - In the group of the oral cancer patients, DM was present in 14.6% and an elevated blood glucose level in 9.7%. These values are significantly higher than those for the tumor-free control group (p < 0.01). The gingival and labial tumor location was significantly more frequent among diabetic cancer patients than in the non-diabetic group (p < 0.01).

Posted by Richard at March 9, 2006 10:13 PM

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