Pancreatic cancer can be diagnosed by analyzing the saliva of people for a different and distinct profile of specific bacteria, a new study conducted by researchers at San Diego State University reveals.
The researchers recruited around 131 patients, of which 63 were female, who were receiving treatment at University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Around 14 of those recruited were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, 13 diagnosed with pancreatic diseases, 22 had other forms of cancer and 10 were disease free.
On analyzing the saliva of the volunteers, the researchers found that those who were diagnosed with cancer displayed higher levels of two specific oral bacteria, namely Leptotrichia and Campylobacter and had lower levels of streptococcus, Treponema and Veillonella while those diagnosed with other diseases or healthy subjects did not have the particular oral bacteria.
"Our results suggest the presence of a consistently distinct microbial profile for pancreatic cancer. We may be able to detect pancreatic cancer at its early stages by taking individuals' saliva and looking at the ratios of these bacteria. Our studies suggest that ratios of particular types of bacteria found in saliva may be indicative of pancreatic cancer," lead researcher Pedro Torres said.