We evaluated potential biomarkers in human whole saliva for the early diagnosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We selected 30 candidate genes with relevance to cancer from recent reports in PubMed. Saliva samples were obtained from 34 non-tumor control and 33 OSCC patients. Real-time PCR was performed, and mRNA levels were compared. Normalized mRNA levels of six genes (NGFI-A binding protein 2 (NAB2), cytochrome P450, family 27, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (CYP27A1), nuclear pore complex interacting protein family, member B4 (NPIPB4), monoamine oxidase B (MAOB), sialic acid acetyltransferase (SIAE), and collagen, type III, alpha 1 (COL3A1)) were significantly lower in saliva of OSCC patients. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to individually evaluate the predictive power of the potential biomarkers for OSCC diagnosis. The area under the curve (AUC) values were evaluated for the OSCC vs. non-tumor groups via univariate ROC analyses, as well as multivariate ROC analyses of combinations of multiple potential biomarkers. The combination of CYP27A1 + SIAE showed a favorable AUC value of 0.84. When we divided saliva samples into two groups according to age using a 60-year cut-off, with OSCC patients and controls evaluated together, the AUC of MAOB–NAB2 was more predictive of OSCC in the under-60 group (AUC, 0.91; sensitivity, 0.92; and specificity, 0.86) than any other gene combination. These results are expected to aid the early diagnosis of OSCC, especially in patients under 60 years of age. While more studies with larger numbers of patients are necessary, our result suggest that salivary mRNA would be a potent biomarker for early OSCC diagnosis.
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