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Oral Oncol. 2007 Jan;43(1):37-41. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Elevated salivary endothelin levels in oral cancer patients--a pilot study.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of California San Francisco, 521 Parnassus Avenue, C-522, Box 0440, San Francisco, CA 94143-0440, United States.


The analysis of saliva has been proposed as a potentially rapid, non-invasive method to monitor and diagnose patients with oral disease. In this study we measured salivary endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels in patients diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) prior to treatment. We demonstrate significantly elevated salivary ET-1 levels in the oral SCC group (4.37+/-1.35pg/ml), relative to the control group (1.16+/-0.29pg/ml). ET-1 and ET-1 mRNA were also measured in oral SCC tissue specimens and compared to normal oral epithelial controls. The concentration of ET-1 in the oral SCC specimens was 17.87+/-4.0pg/ml and in the normal epithelial controls the concentration of ET-1 was 5.43+/-2.5pg/ml. ET-1 mRNA was significantly overexpressed in 80% (8/10) of the oral SCC specimens. Our results demonstrate the potential utility of salivary analysis for ET-1 levels to monitor patients at risk for oral SCC.

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