Recent research studies conducted with saliva samples have demonstrated that this type of assay is promising in the detection or prediction of susceptibility to systemic diseases, including cancer. The findings confirm that saliva is able to provide reliable clinical data and cellular information concerning biologically active molecules that can be used to evaluate and monitor the health-disease process. In fact, approximately 27% of all our proteins are found to be shared between saliva and blood plasma. Moreover, saliva has shown to have an advantage over blood because it contains low background of normal material and inhibitory substances as well as fewer complexes than blood. Therefore, saliva is a good alternative to blood for diagnostic tests and presents a potential reservoir for researchers to identify new biomolecular markers. Cancer diagnostics is an actively pursued area of salivary biomarker research. Several groups have conducted extensive investigations into potential biomarkers in saliva at the DNA, mRNA, and protein level in different types of cancer, including oral, salivary gland, head and neck, ovarian, breast, gastric and lung cancers.
Interleukin (IL)-1Beta has recently received attention in ‘immunecancer’ biology research. IL-1Beta is a proinflammatory cytokine released upon activation of a multi-protein innate immune pathogen-sensing complex called the inflammasome. Inflammasomes can be induced to a variety of stimuli, including microbial components (ie. bacterial toxins) and environmental factors. Inflammasomes have been linked to carcinogenesis and the maintenance of a tumorigenic microenvironment. It is likely that inflammasomes may play a critical role in the formation and progression of cancer through their contribution to inflammation, immune responses, and tissue homeostasis.
Given the growing number of evidences that cancer progression correlates with an increase in IL-1Beta it is reasonable to suggest that IL-1Beta could be a potential biomarker as a predictor of cancer risk or cancer prognosis. Furthermore, this cytokine has been found to be elevated in various types of cancers, and it is known that IL-1Beta producing tumors have bad prognoses.
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