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Malignancies and Biosensors: A Focus on Oral Cancer Detection through Salivary Biomarkers

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Malignancies and Biosensors: A Focus on Oral Cancer Detection through Salivary Biomarkers

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Abstract

Oral cancer is among the deadliest types of malignancy due to the late stage at which it is usually diagnosed, leaving the patient with an average five-year survival rate of less than 50%. The booming field of biosensing and point of care diagnostics can, in this regard, play a major role in the early detection of oral cancer. Saliva is gaining interest as an alternative biofluid for non-invasive diagnostics, and many salivary biomarkers of oral cancer have been proposed. While these findings are promising for the application of salivaomics tools in routine practice, studies on larger cohorts are still needed for clinical validation. This review aims to summarize the most recent development in the field of biosensing related to the detection of salivary biomarkers commonly associated with oral cancer. An introduction to oral cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment is given to define the clinical problem clearly, then saliva as an alternative biofluid is presented, along with its advantages, disadvantages, and collection procedures. Finally, a brief paragraph on the most promising salivary biomarkers introduces the sensing technologies commonly exploited to detect oral cancer markers in saliva. Hence this review provides a comprehensive overview of both the clinical and technological advantages and challenges associated with oral cancer detection through salivary biomarkers.
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