Lung Cancer And Salivary Biomarkers


Lung cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. They are of two types- Small cell lung carcinoma, Non-small cell lung carcinoma. Besides the current diagnostic method with risk of radiation exposure and high cost , Salivary biomarkers benefit us by allowing simple, non-invasive and early detection of lung cancer.

Biomarkers are biological molecules like proteins, genetic material, metabolites or microbial flora that give status of health or disease, sign of response to therapeutic intervention. Salivary biomarkers provide cost effective, non-invasive diagnosis with high specificity and sensitivity. Samples are easily collected.

Saliva is a biological fluid composed of more than 99%water and less than 1% of proteins, electrolytes and other molecules. The concentration changes of proteins, genetic material (DNAs, RNAs), microbial flora, metabolites in saliva used as biomarkers for early detection of lung cancer.

Different lung cancer salivary biomarkers are:

§ EGFR [Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor]

§ FGF-19[Fibroblast Growth Factor]

§ FRS-2 [Fibroblast growth factor Receptor Substrate]

§ GREB-1[Growth Regulation by Estrogen in Breast cancer].

§ mRNA, miRNA [micro RNA]changes.

§ The most common microbes of oral cavity such as, Streptococcus, Porphyromonus found to be lower in lung cancer patients and Spirochetes are abundant in lung cancer patients.

Salivary biomarkers have better diagnostic property than other biomarkers in plasma/blood since the latter seem to overlap over other cancers and inflammatory diseases.

By –

Dr Renuka P

BDS (Intern)


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