The study plans to enroll 100-120 patients with white lesions or growths in their mouths and tonsil areas to test. The researchers will be looking for specific biomarkers that were previously identified by researchers at UCLA. These particular biomarkers have been shown in studies to confirm the presence of oral cancer.
If the clinical trial is successful in helping create a saliva test to detect the biomarker’s presence, doctors and dentists would have a better idea of which patients actually need biopsies. The test also has the potential to accelerate health care savings, he added, since the number of biopsies can be dramatically reduced.