Saliva-Based Point-of-Care in Oral Cancer Detection: Current Trend and Future Opportunities

  • Prashanth PantaEmail author
  • David T. W. Wong


Development of point-of-care (POC) for saliva-based, noninvasive detection of OSCC is an active area of research. Portable and easy-to-use biomedical devices and advanced electrochemical platforms (OFNASET) or simple paper-strip chromatography (e.g., OncAlert®), based on a single or a panel of salivary biomarkers, are already available for clinical use. In this chapter, the emerging core technologies and approaches assisting early POC detection are discussed. Knowledge from closely related fields like nanotechnology is also summarized to provide insight on possible future approaches that can be tailored for oral cancer detection. POC for oral cancer can be designed to work on a potential biomarker candidate (validated in multi-cohort and multiethnic studies) among the wide range of 100 signature analytes from proteins to RNA, cytomorphometry of exfoliated cells in saliva (analogous to circulating tumor cells in plasma), or through high-throughput screening of salivary exosomes for potential signatures. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) was also used as a saliva assay previously, and such attempts will evolve significantly if saliva samples are mucin-free. ELISA is a common method for low-cost protein detection, with great POC potential. Its performance can be optimized through bead and nanoparticle technology. Sophisticated Luminex multi-analyte profiling (xMAP) technology and metal-linked immunosorbent assay (MeLISA), based on ELISA and biocatalytic ability of enzymes, were already reported with high sensitivity and specificity, which can be extrapolated to saliva samples. Some technologies have also assisted detection of mutations, such as “electric field-induced release and measurement” (EFIRM) recently deployed for identification of EGFR mutations through saliva samples. In this chapter, we have narrated the current trend and future opportunities for POC development in saliva-based oral cancer detection.


Oral cancer Noninvasive diagnosis Liquid biopsy Saliva Point of care Lab on chip 



Support from Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Research Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral Medicine and RadiologyMNR Dental College and HospitalSangareddyIndia
  2. 2.Center for Oral/Head and Neck Oncology ResearchSchool of Dentistry, University of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Head and Neck Surgery/OtolaryngologyDavid Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.School of Engineering and Applied ScienceUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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