UCLA Dentistry discovers cellular signals between pancreatic cancer tumors and saliva

Oct. 9, 2013

A research team led by Dr. David Wong at the UCLA School of Dentistry is making progress in the detection of pancreatic cancer. They are finding that biomarkers appear in the saliva, as produced by a cancerous tumor. A tumor produces exosomes that then become re-processed into recognizable biomarkers in the saliva that are unique to the type of cancer, in this case, pancreatic.
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These findings make for a huge leap in progress for detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer, as the detection process has always been extremely invasive and therefore, difficult. As one of the deadliest forms of cancer with a low survival rate, the simplification of the detection process could raise those survival numbers drastically by making treatment possible at an earlier stage.

Wong says, “This paper is significant because it provides credibility to the mechanism of systemic disease detection in saliva. We have been able to substantiate the biological connection between systemic disease and the oral cavity.”

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