Send to

Choose Destination
Oral Oncol. 2019 Sep;96:113-120. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2019.07.013. Epub 2019 Jul 18.

Non-invasive screening of a microRNA-based dysregulation signature in oral cancer and oral potentially malignant disorders.

Author information

Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:
Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Surgery, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Biochemistry and Genetics, La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.



We have previously shown that oral swirls are a robust source of microRNA protected by extracellular vesicles, potentially useful to detect oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)-associated molecular aberration.


To study a developed dysregulation score and risk classification algorithm based upon a panel of OSCC-associated microRNA in oral swirls from individuals with OSCC and oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs).


An OSCC-associated panel of 5 microRNAs (miR-24; miR-21; miR-99a; let-7c; miR-100;) was quantified by qPCR in 190 individuals with and without mucosal abnormalities, including OSCC (n = 53) and OPMDs (n = 74). Each sample was analyzed using a developed dysregulation score (dSCORE) and risk classification algorithm, allocating a LOW- or HIGH-RISK score. The influence of demographic, systemic, oral health and mucosal disease factors on the developed test was analyzed.


MicroRNA for analysis can be predictably isolated from oral swirls sourced from individuals with a range of demographic, systemic and oral health findings. Utilizing the presence of HIGH-RISK identified OSCC patients with 86.8% sensitivity and 81.5% specificity. Older age and female gender were associated with higher dSCOREs and higher proportions of HIGH-RISK classification amongst individuals with no mucosal abnormalities. The dSCOREs for all subgroups of OPMDs were significantly different from the OSCC group.


This is the first comparison of microRNA sourced from oral swirls from individuals with OPMDs with individuals with and without OSCC. A HIGH-RISK dysregulation signature was found to be accurate in indicating the presence of OSCC and exampled to parallel malignant transformation.


Biomarker; Cancer; Dysplasia; Extracellular vesicles; Leukoplakia; Lichen planus; Oral; Potentially malignant; Saliva; microRNA

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center