University of Oulu

Mikkonen, J.J., Singh, S.P., Akhi, R., Salo, T., Lappalainen, R., González‑Arriagada, W.A....Myllymaa, S. (2018). Potential role of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to identify salivary metabolite alterations in patients with head and neck cancer. Oncology Letters, 16, 6795-6800.

Potential role of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to identify salivary metabolite alterations in patients with head and neck cancer

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Author: Mikkonen, Jopi J.W.1,2; Singh, Surya P.2,3; Akhi, Ramin4;
Organizations: 1SIB Labs
2Institute of Dentistry, University of Eastern Finland
3Laser Biomedical Research Centre, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
4Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu
5Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu
6Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital
7Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki
8HUSLAB, Helsinki University Hospital
9Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland
10Oral Pathology and Diagnosis, School of Dentistry, Universidad de Valparaiso
11Department of Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry, State University of Campinas
12Educational Dental Clinic, Kuopio University Hospital
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Spandidos Publications, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-03-07


The analysis of the salivary metabolomic profile may offer an early phase approach to assess the changes associated with a wide range of diseases including head and neck cancer. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for detecting the salivary metabolic changes associated with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Unstimulated whole‑mouth saliva samples collected from HNSCC patients (primary tumour was located either in the larynx or in the oral cavity) and healthy controls were analysed by 1H‑NMR spectroscopy. Reliably identified salivary metabolites were quantified and the determined concentration values were compared group‑wise using a Mann‑Whitney U‑test. Multivariate discrimination function analysis (DFA) was conducted to identify such a combination of metabolites, when considered together, that gives maximum discrimination between the groups. HNSCC patients exhibited significantly increased concentrations of 1,2‑propanediol (P=0.032) and fucose (P=0.003), while proline levels were significantly decreased (P=0.043). In the DFA model, the most powerful discrimination was achieved when fucose, glycine, methanol and proline were considered as combined biomarkers, resulting in a correct classification rate of 92.1%, sensitivity of 87.5% and specificity of 93.3%. To conclude, NMR spectrometric analysis was revealed to be a feasible approach to study the metabolome of saliva that is sensitive to metabolic changes in HNSCC and straightforward to collect in a non‑invasive manner. Salivary fucose was of particular interest and therefore, controlled longitudinal studies are required to assess its clinical relevance as a diagnostic biomarker in HNSCC.

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Series: Oncology letters
ISSN: 1792-1074
ISSN-E: 1792-1082
ISSN-L: 1792-1074
Volume: 16
Issue: 5
Pages: 6795 - 6800
DOI: 10.3892/ol.2018.9419
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: The present study was supported by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) project ‘Novel spectroscopic methods for early detection and screening of oral cancer’ (grant no. 52/31/2014).
Copyright information: Copyright © Spandidos Publications 2018. All rights reserved. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.