The ability to detect the presence of oral cancer and to predict which oral precancer will eventuate to cancer will reduce the mortality and morbidity of this dreadful cancer, which accounts for 30,000 new cancer cases in the United States and 350,000 worldwide. Only 20% of oral precancers progress to cancer and currently there is no clinical, morphological or molecular parameter that can predict the malignant progression of oral precancers. This proposal builds on our recent data that signature transcriptome and proteomic biomarkers are present in saliva of oral cancer patients. We hypothesize that salivary transcriptome and proteomic signatures can be harnessed from saliva of progressing oral cancer patients that will distinguish them from non-progressing oral precancers.
Three Specific Aims are in place to test the hypothesis.
AIM 1 is to harness the salivary transcriptome and proteomic diagnostic biomarkers from oral cancer patients and patients with progressing oral precancers.
AIMs 2 and 3 constitute phases II and III of EDRN detection studies to validate/train/build prediction models and testing the prediction models for saliva detection of oral cancer and progressing oral precancers respectively. The successful completion of these three Aims will constitute an important advancement of oral cancer and precancer diagnostics. We are optimistic that the salivary transcriptome and proteomic biomarkers will meet the rigor of these evaluations and emerge as highly specific, highly sensitive biomarkers for oral cancer detection as well as the early detection of oral cancer in the non- invasive biofluid, saliva.

Public Health Relevance

This research project will lead to the discovery of saliva biomarkers that can be used for early detection of oral cancer as well as predicting if an oral precancer will become a cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Cancer Biomarkers Study Section (CBSS)
Program Officer
Venkatachalam, Sundaresan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Dentistry
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Modi, Ashwin; Morou-Bermudez, Evangelia; Vergara, Jose et al. (2017) Validation of two point-of-care tests against standard lab measures of NO in saliva and in serum. Nitric Oxide 64:16-21
Gleber-Netto, Frederico Omar; Yakob, Maha; Li, Feng et al. (2016) Salivary Biomarkers for Detection of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a Taiwanese Population. Clin Cancer Res 22:3340-7
Zhang, Yong; Sun, Jie; Lin, Chien-Chung et al. (2016) The emerging landscape of salivary diagnostics. Periodontol 2000 70:38-52
Chiang, Samantha H; Thomas, Gerald A; Liao, Wei et al. (2015) RNAPro‚ÄĘSAL: a device for rapid and standardized collection of saliva RNA and proteins. Biotechniques 58:69-76
Yakob, Maha; Fuentes, Laurel; Wang, Marilene B et al. (2014) Salivary biomarkers for detection of oral squamous cell carcinoma - current state and recent advances. Curr Oral Health Rep 1:133-141
Fuentes, L; Yakob, M; Wong, D T W (2014) Emerging horizons of salivary diagnostics for periodontal disease. Br Dent J 217:567-73
Lau, Chang; Kim, Yong; Chia, David et al. (2013) Role of pancreatic cancer-derived exosomes in salivary biomarker development. J Biol Chem 288:26888-97
Yoshizawa, Janice M; Wong, David T W (2013) Salivary microRNAs and oral cancer detection. Methods Mol Biol 936:313-24
Farrell, James J; Zhang, Lei; Zhou, Hui et al. (2012) Variations of oral microbiota are associated with pancreatic diseases including pancreatic cancer. Gut 61:582-8
Elashoff, David; Zhou, Hui; Reiss, Jean et al. (2012) Prevalidation of salivary biomarkers for oral cancer detection. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 21:664-72

Showing the most recent 10 out of 27 publications