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Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a malignant neoplasm with complex etiopathogenesis and an overall 5-year survival rate below 60% attributed to advanced disease stage at diagnosis. Saliva is increasingly being investigated as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for screening and follow-up of OSCC, while the need for a reliable, clinically applicable salivary biomarker for early diagnosis of OSCC remains unmet. The purpose of the present study was to identify potentially significant salivary biomarkers for OSCC.
PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched using specified keywords to identify and shortlist relevant studies. The included studies were assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for quality. Metan function in Stata version 12.0 was used to perform meta-analysis.
Out of 82 studies identified using PubMed and Google Scholar databases, 11 were included in our meta-analysis. Three markers (IL-8, IL-6, and Albumin) were analyzed in more than one study and all three markers had significantly higher mean protein expression in OSCC than healthy controls.
IL-8, IL-6, and Albumin are all potential, non-invasive salivary biomarkers for OSCC with significantly elevated mean protein expression in the saliva of OSCC patients compared to healthy controls.