Document Type




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Medicina Oral S.L.

Source Publication

Medicina Oral Patologia Oral Y Cirurgia Bucal

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Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common malignant tumour of the oral cavity. Detection of OSCC is currently based on clinical oral examination combined with histopathological evaluation of a biopsy sample. Direct contact between saliva and the oral cancer makes measurement of salivary metalloproteinase- 9 (MMP-9) an attractive alternative.

Material and Methods: In total, 30 OSCC patients and 30 healthy controls were included in this prospective study. Saliva samples from both groups were collected, centrifuged and supernatant fluid was subjected to ELISA for assessment of MMP-9. The median salivary MMP-9 values with interquartile range (IQR) of OSCC patients and the control group were statistically analysed using the Mann-Whitney U-test. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was constructed and the area under curve (AUC) was computed.

Results: The median absorbance MMP-9 value of the OSCC group was 0.186 (IQR=0.158) and that of control group was 0.156 (IQR=0.102). MMP-9 was significantly increased in the OSCC patients than in the controls by +19.2% (p=0.008). Median values in patients with recurrence and in patients with primary event were 0.233 (IQR=0.299) and 0.186 (IQR=0.134) respectively. MMP-9 was significantly increased in patients with primary event (p=0.017) compared to controls by +19.2%. No significant increase of MMP-9 level was detected when comparing patients with recurrence and healthy controls (+49.4%; p=0.074). The sensitivity value of MMP-9 was 100% whereas the specificity value was 26.7% with AUC of 0.698.

Conclusions: The present data indicates that the elevation of salivary levels of MMP-9 may be a useful adjunctive diagnostic tool for detection of OSCC. However, further studies are necessary to provide scientific and clinical validation.


Published version. Medicina Oral Patologia Oral Y Cirurgia Bucal, Vol. 22, No. 3 (May 2017): e270-e275. DOI. © 2017 Medicina Oral S.L. Used with permission.