Cancers are becoming more and more prevalent with each passing day. With so many available treatment options available in the medical field now, it is important that doctors find more ways to combat the condition and ensure better recovery before it gets too late to handle. Early detection of throat and mouth cancer could be a possible breakthrough.
A new study (R) conducted by the researchers have found that the use of acoustofluidics which is a new form of non-invasive procedure that analyses and tests out the saliva of the patient to check for the presence of human papilloma virus (HPV)-16. This is the pathogenic strain and the cause behind the incidence of a number of oropharyngeal cancers in an individual.
Given that the cancers that occur in the back of the throat and the mouth are non-detectable until it has reached the advanced stages, mainly because of the location of the cancerous cells. This new treatment option does have the capability to improve the overall condition and ensure the very best results in terms of recovery and possible remission as well.
Tony Jun Huang, PhD, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, who is also the co-lead investigator of the study stated saying that there are over 115,000 cases of the oropharyngeal cancer that is reported all across the world every single year and the numbers are increasing every single year.
It is also one of the fastest growing forms of cancer in some of the western countries with a heavy influence from the HPV related incidence. It doesn’t need an explanation that the surveillance and detection methods that are suggested are all done to help improve the possibility of early detection to further enhance the treatment options.
Addressing this, Dr Huang further stated saying following considering all these factors that the detection of the HPV in the salivary exosomes can further help streamline the process early detection of the condition of the cancers using the acoustofluidic platform. It also helps with the overall risk assessment and helps with improved screening of the process as well.
The researchers also suggest saying that this process can also further help understand which patients will have a better response to the radiation and even achieve a longer progression free survival depending on the condition.
For those who aren’t aware, the exosomes are the tiny microvesicles that are found within the cells and are later secreted into the body fluids. They are responsible for better intercellular communication and even help in better transfer of information. But, the alarming thing is the fact that the number of exosomes increase drastically in a cancerous area.
On the acoustofluidic platform, it makes use of the tiny acoustofluidic chip which further helps in isolating the salivary exosomes and getting rid of all the unwanted particles from around the device.
For conducting this study, the researchers focused on analyzing the saliva samples of 10 patients who have been diagnosed with HPV-OPC using the traditional methods of detection. The researchers found that using the acoustofluid method, it helped in detecting the biomarker HPV-16 DNA in around 80% of the patients.
Owing to the fact that the method is independent of the sample variability because of the viscosity of the saliva along with the collection methods, it has actually proven beneficial for the clinical trails conducted for this.
Further shedding some light on this process, Dr Huang also highlighted some of the important features of this including the automated and the fast exosome isolation which takes less than five minutes of processing which is crazy. What this suggests is the fact that the analysis can actually be conducted for a much lower price points.
Additionally, this method is also a very suitable one for monitoring the overall progression of the tumor and the associated process with it. This is unlike the traditional biopsy that is conducted every now and then for diagnosis.
With all of these amazing features and benefits, the acoustofluidic platform does have the capacity to further streamline the process of throat and mouth cancer diagnosis and even help with exceeding the current industry standards. It is also expected to help with the discover of new exosomal biomarkers.
David T.W. Wong, DMD, DMSc, of the Center for Oral/Head and Neck Oncology Research, School of Dentistry at the University of California Los Angeles, CA, USA, who is another one of the co-lead investigator in the study stated saying that this saliva exosome detection is one of the most effective treatment options that one can opt for. It provides with fast results with features like biocompatible, high-yield, high purity and so on and so forth.