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Will saliva translate to a real diagnostic tool?

In the era of new diagnostic methods and treatment options, patient care is rapidly changing. 

Early detection is an emerging paradigm which seeks to decrease patient morbidity and mortality by detecting disease at a phase where it is easily treatable.

At the 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Pan European Regional (PER) Congress, David Wong, University of California, Los Angeles, USA presented his research "Saliva Diagnostics and Salivaomics" as part of the symposium "Will Saliva Translate to a Real Diagnostic Tool?" on Saturday, July 28, 2018.

Wong spoke about the exciting new opportunities to use saliva liquid biopsy for early assessment of lung cancer because of the clinical performance of cancer detection, non-invasive collection process and the ease of collecting, transporting and storing saliva.

Studies have been conducted on using saliva to measure stress hormones, enzyme levels, developmental disease biomarkers and even cancer mutations.

"There are a variety of scenarios with which saliva can be used," said Wong. "One of the most exciting emerging frontiers of saliva is liquid biopsy, which is a non-invasive means to assess the presence and characteristics of cancer in a patient with an indeterminate pulmonary nodule detected by low dose computerized tomography (LDCT)."

Saliva liquid biopsy delivers the best performance in the detection of circulating tumour DNA of lung cancer.

If validated biomarkers were combined with high-quality detection tools, saliva would open up a new frontier in high-quality healthcare allowing physicians, dentists and patients to work together for real-time health monitoring and high-impact personalized preventative medicine.

Source: International & American Associations for Dental Research

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