Saliva test might be used to determine cancer in the future

Researchers at National Chung Cheng University (NCCU) in Taiwan have developed a new test that can help doctors diagnose and monitor diseases and their prevention.

“The test measures the amount of damaged DNA [DNA adducts] in a person’s body,” said Professor Hauh-Jyun Candy Chen, Ph.D., who led the research team, ”which may help doctors diagnose diseases, monitor how effective a treatment is and also recommend things high-risk patients can do to reduce the chances of actually getting a disease.”

DNA adducts are formed when a potential carcinogenic substance is attached to a strand of DNA.

People come into contact with such substances outdoors, at work or practicing certain activities such as smoking.

The new test measures the levels of five common DNA adducts, including some which are formed due to cigarette smoke.

DNA is present in white blood cells, which are normally found in saliva.