Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Dentistry School Receives $5M to Study Saliva Biomarkers

Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Imagine having a sample of your saliva taken at the dentist's office, and then learning within minutes whether your risk for stomach cancer is higher than normal.

The UCLA School of Dentistry received $5 million in funding from the National Institutes for Health to study biological markers in saliva to attempt to develop a tool for detecting stomach cancer. The study has the potential to create a new paradigm in the field of salivary diagnostics, and it could supply concrete evidence that saliva can be used in the detection of life-threatening diseases, including diabetes and cancers of the pancreas, breasts, ovaries and stomach.

The award comes from the NIH Common Fund, a program established to overcome obstacles in biomedical research that have hindered scientific discovery and its translation into improved human health. The funding awarded to the School of Dentistry comes from the Common Fund's Extracellular RNA Communication initiative, which has awarded leading research institutes around the world a total of $160 million to address the transformative potential of the emerging field of salivary diagnostics.

Leading UCLA's five-year project is Dr. David Wong, a pioneer in the field of salivary diagnostics, the dentistry school's associate dean of research, and the Felix and Mildred Yip Endowed Professor in Dentistry. His team will develop and definitively validate salivary extracellular ribonucleic acid (exRNA) biomarkers for stomach cancer detection.

Conventionally, RNA - which translates genetic code from DNA to make protein - was always believed to reside within cells. However, scientists have recently found that RNA is secreted into extracellular spaces, or spaces outside the cell. Researchers surmised that exRNA acts as an exocrine signal, a signal that travels by way of a duct, to alter the cell traits of target cells. This messaging system occurs in the body's central organs, such as the stomach and heart, and in the extremities, such as the fingers, toes and mouth.

With the Common Fund award, Wong's team will conduct a prospective study to develop a salivary biomarker panel that would definitively validate for stomach cancer detection. Their hope is to capture exRNAs in saliva samples secreted by stomach cancer cells to confirm whether the patient is at risk for stomach cancer.

"Salivary diagnostics is a very dynamic field with a lot of potential and I am excited that our research is advancing toward clinical maturation," Wong said. "The National Institutes for Health's support for developing salivary exRNA biomarkers as part of the Common Fund initiative is a strong statement that saliva is scientifically credible for the detection of systemic disease."

Wong's laboratory, along with collaborators, first discovered salivary exRNA molecules in 2004 and demonstrated their translational utility for detecting oral cancer. Over the next several years, the team developed salivary exRNA biomarkers for a number of oral and systemic diseases, including salivary gland tumors, Sjögren's syndrome and many life-threatening cancers. While there are other diagnostic constituents in saliva, salivary exRNAs are the most reliable markers for disease.

This NIH Common Fund initiative highlights the transformative potential of biological information revealed in exRNAs towards the regulation of health and diseases. Moreover, it echoes President Barrack Obama's Strategy for American Innovation to address the so-called Grand Challenges of the 21st century. High on the list of those challenges is the goal of "early detection of dozens of disease from a saliva sample."

"UCLA is uniquely poised to advance the basic, translational and clinical sciences of salivary diagnostics," said Dr. No-Hee Park, dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry. "A new landscape of saliva biology is on the horizon."

The research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Sung Kim, executive vice president and director of gastric cancer at the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea; Dr. David Chia, a professor in the department of pathology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Dr. David Elashoff, a professor in the department of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; and Dr. Yong Kim, an associate professor in the division of oral biology and medicine at the UCLA School of Dentistry.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Transcription Factor Isoforms Implicated in Colon Diseases
UC Riverside study explains how distribution of two forms of a transcription factor in the colon influence risk of disease.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Fructose Alters Hundreds of Brain Genes
UCLA scientists report that diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reverse the damage.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Study Yields the Key to Effective Personalized Medicine
A team of UCLA bioengineers and surgeons has taken a major step toward making personalized medicine a reality.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Cat Stem Cell Therapy Gives Humans Hope
By the time Bob the cat came to the UC Davis veterinary hospital, he had used up most of his nine lives.
Monday, February 08, 2016
Crowdfunding the Fight Against Cancer
From budding social causes to groundbreaking businesses to the next big band, crowdfunding has helped connect countless worthy projects with like-minded people willing to support their efforts, even in small ways. But could crowdfunding help fight cancer?
Monday, February 08, 2016
CRISPR-Cas9 Helps Uncover Genetics of Exotic Organisms
A new study illustrates the ease with which CRISPR-Cas9 can knock out genes in exotic animals to learn how those genes control growth and development.
Friday, December 11, 2015
‘Purity’ Of Tumor Samples May Significantly Bias Genomic Analyses
Non-cancerous tumor components influence research findings, clinical classifications, study shows.
Monday, December 07, 2015
Rare Childhood Leukemia Reveals Surprising Genetic Secrets
A coalition of leukemia researchers led by scientists from UC San Francisco has discovered surprising genetic diversity in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), a rare but aggressive childhood blood cancer.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Engineers Crack DNA Code of Autoimmune Disorders
Researchers have identified an unexpectedly general set of rules that determine which molecules can cause the immune system to become vulnerable to the autoimmune disorders lupus and psoriasis.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
May the Cellular Force be With You
Like tiny construction workers, cells sculpt embryonic tissues and organs in 3D space.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Chemical Signature for Fast Form of Parkinson's Found
The physical decline experienced by Parkinson's disease patients eventually leads to disability and a lower quality of life.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Researchers Un-Junking Junk DNA
A study shines a new light on molecular tools our cells use to govern regulated gene expression.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Did Inefficient Cellular Machinery Evolve to Fight Viruses and Jumping Genes?
UCSF scientist poses new theory on origins of eukaryotic gene expression.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Single Gene Mutation Linked to Neurological Disorders
Mutation could offer insights into Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntigton’s Diseases.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Discovery Could Lead to Saliva Test for Pancreatic Cancer
The disease is typically diagnosed through an invasive and complicated biopsy.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Scientific News
New Cancer Drug Target in Dual-Function Protein
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a protein that launches cancer growth and appears to contribute to higher mortality in breast cancer patients.
Contagious Cancers Are Spreading in Shellfish
Direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, suggests a new study published in Nature by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
Contagious Cancers Are Spreading in Shellfish
Direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, suggests a new study published in Nature by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.
“Amazing Protein Diversity” Discovered in Maize
The genome of the corn plant – or maize, as it’s called almost everywhere except the US – “is a lot more exciting” than scientists have previously believed. So says the lead scientist in a new effort to analyze and annotate the depth of the plant’s genetic resources.
Higher Frequency of Huntington's Disease Mutations Discovered
University of Aberdeen study shows that the gene change that causes Huntington's disease is much more common than previously thought.
Revealing the Genetic Causes of Bowel Cancer
A landmark study has given the most detailed picture yet of the genetics of bowel cancer — the UK's fourth most common cancer.
Tumor Cells Develop Predictable Characteristics
Scientists have discovered that cancer cells at the edge of a tumor that are close to the surrounding environment are predictably different from the cells within the interior of the tumor.
New Imaging Method Reveals Nanoscale Details about DNA
Enhancement to super-resolution microscopy shows orientation of individual molecules, providing a new window into DNA’s structure and dynamics.
Genetic Research Can Significantly Improve Drug Development
With drug development costs topping $1.2bn (£850 million) to get a single treatment to the point it can be sold and used in the clinic, could genetic analysis save hundreds of millions of dollars?
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!