Saliva Holds Clues To Oral Cancer

A major advance in using saliva to detect oral cancer is outlined in a study funded by the U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Scientists found they were able to measure for elevated levels of four distinct cancer-associated molecules in saliva. Using this method, they had a 91 percent accuracy rate in distinguishing between healthy people and those diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma. This is the first study to report that distinct patterns of cancer-linked messenger RNA can be measured in saliva and indicate the presence of a developing tumor. The findings appear in the current issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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