Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biomolecular Screening
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 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ 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

Tracking RNA in Live Cells
Technique may open doors to new treatments for many conditions, from cancer to autism.
Friday, March 18, 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
Cellular “ORACLs” to Aid Drug Discovery
New approach for finding therapeutics is inspired by face-recognition software.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Embryonic Switch for Cancer Stem Cell Generation
An international team of scientists report that decreases in a specific group of proteins trigger changes in the cancer microenvironment that accelerate growth and development of therapy-resistant cancer stem cells (CSCs).
Wednesday, December 02, 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
Simple Technology Makes CRISPR Gene Editing Cheaper
University of California, Berkeley, researchers have discovered a much cheaper and easier way to target a hot new gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, to cut or label DNA.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Delivering Drugs to the Right Place
Thomas Weimbs has developed a targeted drug delivery method that could potentially slow the progression of polycystic kidney disease.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Designing New Pain Relief Drugs
Researchers have identified the molecular interactions that allow capsaicin to activate the body’s primary receptor for sensing heat and pain, paving the way for the design of more selective and effective drugs to relieve pain.
Thursday, June 11, 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
Genetic Markers for Detecting and Treating Ovarian Cancer
Custom bioinformatics algorithm identifies human mRNAs that distinguish ovarian cancer cells from normal cells and provide new therapeutic targets
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Industry-Sponsored Academic Inventions Spur Increased Innovation
Analysis questions assumption that corporate support skews science toward inventions that are less useful than those funded by the government or non-profit organizations.
Monday, March 24, 2014
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
Digging Deeper Into Cancer
What a pathologist looks for in a Pap test sample, but hopes not to find, are oddly shaped cells with abnormally large nuclei. The same is true for prostate and lung cancer biopsies.
Tuesday, November 19, 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
MicroRNA Pathway Could Lead to New Avenues for Leukemia Treatment
Cancer researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found a particular signaling route in microRNA (miR-22) that could lead to targets for acute myeloid leukemia, the most common type of fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Soy Shows Promise as Natural Anti-Microbial Agent
Soy isoflavones and peptides may inhibit the growth of microbial pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses, according to a new study from University of Guelph researchers.
Doubling Down on Dengue
HMS researchers have discovered two ways a compound blocks dengue virus.
Soy Shows Promise as Natural Anti-Microbial Agent
Researchers from University of Guelph show that soy isoflavones and peptides could be used to reduce microbial contamination of food.
AstraZeneca to Sequence 2 Million Genomes in Search for New Drugs
Company launches integrated genomics approach which aims to transform drug discovery and development.
Unique Model for Studying ALS
Unique mouse model will allow researchers to better study the genetic origins and potential treatments of ALS.
Targeting an ‘Undruggable’ Cancer Gene
RAS genes are mutated in more than 30 percent of human cancers and represent one of the most sought-after cancer targets for drug developers.
Biomarkers for Profiling Prostate Cancer Patients
Exiqon A/S has announced the publication of validation of prognostic microRNA biomarkers for the aggressiveness of prostate cancer in independent cohorts.
Improving Engineered T-Cell Cancer Treatment
Purdue University researchers may have figured out a way to call off a cancer cell assassin that sometimes goes rogue and assign it a larger tumor-specific "hit list."
Micro Heart Muscle Created from Stem Cells
Researchers have designed a new way to create micro heart muscle from stem cells using a unique dog bone dish.
SELECTBIO

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
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!