JAN 07, 2020 7:30 PM PST

Saliva Test for Early Detection of Mouth and Throat Cancer

WRITTEN BY: Nupur Srivastava

“Oropharyngeal cancers (OPC) is one of the fastest rising cancers in Western countries due to increasing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)-related incidence, especially in younger patients. It is pre-eminent to develop surveillance methods that can help improve early detection and outcomes,” quoted co-lead investigator Tony Jun Huang from Duke University in the U.S.

Early detection of mouth and throat cancers is difficult because their location (in the back) makes it challenging to see by the health care providers during routine clinical exams.

Researchers from Duke University, UCLA, and the University of Birmingham in the U.K. report the development of a new noninvasive acoustofluidics test that analyzes saliva for the presence of HPV-16, the pathogenic strain associated with OPCs. The novel technique detected OPC in whole saliva in 40% of patients tested, and 80% of confirmed OPC patients. Results were published online December 13 in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

The tiny 'acoustofluidic' chip separates exosomes in the saliva by removing unnecessary particles using a size-gradient isolation method. Exosomes are small microvesicles originating within cells that get secreted into body fluids. They play an essential role in intercellular communication, and their numbers elevate in association with several types of cancers. 

Acoustofluidic exosome isolation chip for salivary exosome isolation. The microfluidic channel is shown by a red dye solution and the coin demonstrates the size of the chip. Two pairs of gold interdigital transducers are deposited along the channel, which separates particles according to size. Image Credit: The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics

Why is the Acoustofluidics test advantageous?

  • The testing is efficient; even the saliva of a patient gets more or less viscous.
  • It is an automated and rapid process that can yield isolates exosomes as early as 5 minutes compared to the conventional methods, which might take more than 8 hours.
  • The testing costs less than other similar technologies used currently.
  • It is very much non-invasive, allowing continuous long-term monitoring of patients to assess the progression of the tumor.
  • This testing method can be easily put into practice clinically.

"The saliva exosome liquid biopsy is an effective early detection and risk assessment approach for OPC," said co-lead investigator David T.W. Wong, DMD, DMSc, of the Center for Oral/Head and Neck Oncology Research, School of Dentistry at the University of California Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Source: Eurekalert, NewsMedicalNet, Journal of Molecular Diagnostics

About the Author
You May Also Like
JAN 21, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
JAN 21, 2020
Brain scans of teens predict their risk of binge drinking
We’ve seen teenage binge drinking widely represented in popular culture. There is, however, a dark side to what ma ...
FEB 24, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
FEB 24, 2020
Nanoparticles provide momentum for better diagnostic imaging
Photoacoustic imaging is an emerging tool with a vast array of biomedical applications ranging from the detection of bra ...
FEB 21, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
FEB 21, 2020
Diagnosing COVID-19
Diagnosing coronavirus is done through next-generation sequencing, real-time RT-PCR tests, cell culture, and electron mi ...
APR 08, 2020
Technology
APR 08, 2020
Can Quantum Technology Diagnose Complicated Heart Conditions?
Currently, atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition that is diagnosed using an electrocardiogram (ECG). However, di ...
MAY 07, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
MAY 07, 2020
An 8 Minute DNA Test For Salmonella
Australian researchers have created a sensitive, super-fast test for five different serotypes of Salmonella which could ...
JUN 26, 2020
Cardiology
JUN 26, 2020
Drug for Osteoporosis Linked to Increased Risk of Adverse Cardiovascular Events
In a recent study done by Jonas Bovijn, MBChB, MSc, DLSHTM, of the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford’ ...
Loading Comments...