Investigators at the University of Texas Health Science Center report the identification and quantification of specific protein markers in human saliva that could provide an early diagnosis of breast cancer.
In the study, researchers analyzed saliva samples from 30 patients. They found 49 proteins that differentiated healthy patients from those with benign breast tumors and those with malignant breast tumors.
The data generated from the study is being applied to a lab-on-a-chip technology platform that will be developed by biochemists at the University of Texas, Austin. The ultimate goal is to bring this type of diagnostic test, which is capable of detecting the presence of cancer before a tumor forms, into the dental office or other healthcare facilities, according to the researchers.
The study is published in the January 10 issue of Cancer Investigation.