Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 931301, 6 pages
Review Article

Looking in the Mouth for Noninvasive Gene Expression-Based Methods to Detect Oral, Oropharyngeal, and Systemic Cancer

1Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, Center for Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
2Department of Immunology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA

Received 12 July 2012; Accepted 12 September 2012

Academic Editors: R.-J. Bensadoun and C. V. Catapano

Copyright © 2012 Guy R. Adami and Alexander J. Adami. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Noninvasive diagnosis, whether by sampling body fluids, body scans, or other technique, has the potential to simplify early cancer detection. A classic example is Pap smear screening, which has helped to reduce cervical cancer 75% over the last 50 years. No test is error-free; the real concern is sufficient accuracy combined with ease of use. This paper will discuss methods that measure gene expression or epigenetic markers in oral cells or saliva to diagnose oral and pharyngeal cancers, without requiring surgical biopsy. Evidence for lung and other distal cancer detection is also reviewed.