Saliva test could lead to early diagnosis of diseases

30 October 2014 

New research could see the development of a simple saliva test that could diagnose diabetes and cancer.

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) are developing a test to detect the two diseases - as well as some neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases - at an early stage, which could lead to more effective therapies.

The study is the most in-depth analysis of ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules in human saliva ever to be conducted. It showed that saliva contains some of the same molecules that point toward certain illnesses as blood. 

Dr David Wong, senior author of the paper and UCLA's Felix and Mildred Yip Endowed professor in Dentistry, said: "If we can define the boundaries of molecular targets in saliva, then we can ask what the constituents in saliva are that can mark someone who has pre-diabetes or the early stages of oral cancer or pancreatic cancer — and we can utilise this knowledge for personalised medicine."

Posted by Jeanette Royston​

 

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