Elevated salivary endothelin levels in oral cancer patients--a pilot study

Oral Oncol. 2007 Jan;43(1):37-41. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2005.12.027. Epub 2006 Jun 6.


The analysis of saliva has been proposed as a potentially rapid, non-invasive method to monitor and diagnose patients with oral disease. In this study we measured salivary endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels in patients diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) prior to treatment. We demonstrate significantly elevated salivary ET-1 levels in the oral SCC group (4.37+/-1.35pg/ml), relative to the control group (1.16+/-0.29pg/ml). ET-1 and ET-1 mRNA were also measured in oral SCC tissue specimens and compared to normal oral epithelial controls. The concentration of ET-1 in the oral SCC specimens was 17.87+/-4.0pg/ml and in the normal epithelial controls the concentration of ET-1 was 5.43+/-2.5pg/ml. ET-1 mRNA was significantly overexpressed in 80% (8/10) of the oral SCC specimens. Our results demonstrate the potential utility of salivary analysis for ET-1 levels to monitor patients at risk for oral SCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Endothelin-1 / analysis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leukoplakia, Oral / diagnosis*
  • Leukoplakia, Oral / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pilot Projects
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Saliva / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Endothelin-1
  • RNA, Messenger