Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saliva test could dramatically increase detection of oral cancer

Date:
April 17, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Scientists are working to create a simple, cost-effective saliva test to detect oral cancer, a breakthrough that would drastically improve screening and result in fewer people dying of the world's sixth most common cancer.

A Michigan State University surgeon is teaming up with a Lansing-area dental benefits firm on a clinical trial to create a simple, cost-effective saliva test to detect oral cancer, a breakthrough that would drastically improve screening and result in fewer people dying of the world's sixth most common cancer.

Barry Wenig, a professor in the College of Human Medicine's Department of Surgery and lead investigator on the project, is working with Delta Dental of Michigan's Research and Data Institute to compile study data and recruit dentists. The study will enroll 100-120 patients with white lesions or growths in their mouths and tonsil areas to test as part of the clinical trial.

Wenig and his team will be looking for certain biomarkers previously identified by researchers at UCLA; the biomarkers have been shown in studies to confirm the presence of oral cancer. By creating a simple saliva test which could identify the biomarker's presence, physicians and dentists would know which patients need treatment and which ones could avoid needless and invasive biopsies.

"Most white lesions are benign, so a majority of people who develop them are getting biopsies that are not needed," Wenig said. "Conversely, a simple test would allow us to identify those patients with malignant lesions and get them into treatment quicker."

Oral cancer has a poor survival rate linked to late detection, Wenig said: Only 60 percent of patients live beyond five years after diagnosis. Among black males, the survival rate is less than 38 percent.

"The key challenge to reduce the mortality and morbidity of oral cancer is to develop strategies to identify and detect the disease when it is at a very early stage," he said.

In addition to Delta Dental's Research and Data Institute, which works with researchers from leading universities to monitor advances in science, Wenig is collaborating with PeriRx, a Pennsylvania company that will sponsor upcoming trials with the Food and Drug Administration.

"The results of this trial could be life changing for many people," said Jed Jacobson, chief science officer at Delta Dental and a licensed dentist. "It is a tremendous opportunity for the dental community to participate in what could be a groundbreaking research project."

Wenig and members of his team recently returned from southern California, where they met with UCLA colleagues, who are working to develop saliva diagnostic tests for other cancers as well.

"These tests are as noninvasive as it gets; patients simply need to spit into a cup," Wenig said. "The ease of the test will greatly expand our ability to effectively screen for the cancerous lesions.

"Right now, there are no early screenings available for most head and neck cancers."

The test also has the potential to accelerate health care savings, he added, since the number of biopsies can be dramatically reduced.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Saliva test could dramatically increase detection of oral cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120417152734.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, April 17). Saliva test could dramatically increase detection of oral cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120417152734.htm
Michigan State University. "Saliva test could dramatically increase detection of oral cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120417152734.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins