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Indian J Clin Biochem. 2011 Oct;26(4):326-34. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

A review on salivary genomics and proteomics biomarkers in oral cancer.

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Biochemistry Research Division, The Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute, Asarwa, Ahmedabad, 380 016 Gujarat India.


Oral cancer has emerged as an alarming public health problem with increasing incidence and mortality rates all over the world. Therefore, the implementation of newer screening and early detection approaches are of utmost importance which could reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease. Sensitive and specific biomarkers for oral cancer are likely to be most effective for screening, diagnosis, staging and follow-up for this dreaded malignancy. Unlike other deep cancers, oral cancer is located in oral cavity. Hence, the direct contact between saliva and oral cancer lesion makes the measurement of tumor markers in saliva an attractive alternative to serum and tissue testing. The DNA, RNA and protein molecules derived from the living cancer cells can be conveniently obtained from saliva. Thus, salivary biomarkers, a non-invasive alternative to serum and tissue-based biomarkers may be an effective modality for early diagnosis, prognostication and monitoring post therapy status. In the current post-genomic era, various technologies provide opportunities for high-throughput approaches to genomics and proteomics; which have been used to evaluate altered expressions of gene and protein targets in saliva of oral cancer patients. The emerging field of salivary biomarkers has great potentials to prove its clinical significance to combat oral cancer. Hence, we have reviewed importance of several salivary genomics and proteomics biomarkers for oral cancer.


Genomics; Oral cancer; Proteomics; Salivary biomarkers

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