Scientists have found, instead of blood tests and biopsy, saliva can be used to detect primary Sjögren's Syndrome (pSS), an autoimmune disease which affects ~4 million American, 90% being women. pSS patients are 40 times more at risk than healthy people to develop lymphoma, a fatal lymphocytic cancer.
Scientists at the University of California-Los Angeles have identified a panel of salivary biomarkers that can distinguish pSS patients from healthy subjects.
Using cutting-edge proteomics and genomics technologies, they searched globally for markers in saliva from SS patients and healthy people, and found that saliva, especially whole saliva (that is, the combined saliva in the mouth, vs. saliva from the individual salivary glands), is informative for detecting patients with pSS.
In addition, the proteomic and genomic profile of these markers reflects the damage to glandular cells, activated anti-viral immune response, or programmed cell death known to be involved in SS pathogenesis.
The value of these candidate biomarkers for SS diagnosis has been confirmed by independent technologies. The saliva proteomic and genomic biomarkers collectively will have a positive beneficial diagnostic value on the clinical detection of pSS in the near future.