Now, bacteria in saliva can help doctors identify pancreatic cancer

Last Updated: May 19, 2014, 18:42 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Researchers at San Diego State University have identified that saliva can help doctors identify pancreatic cancer in a patient.

Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumour originating from transformed cells arising in tissues forming the pancreas. It is considered as dangerous because it generally grows and spreads silently before it's discovered.

As per studies conducted, researchers believe that patients with pancreatic cancer have a different and distinct profile of specific bacteria in their saliva compared to healthy people.

Pedro Torres of San Diego State University who presented the research said their studies suggest that ratios of particular types of bacteria found in saliva may be indicative of pancreatic cancer.

In the study, Torres and his colleagues compared the diversity of saliva bacteria across 131 patients, 63 female and 68 male, being treated at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Moores Cancer Center. Of these patients, 14 had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, 13 with pancreatic disease, 22 with other forms of cancer and 10 disease free.

Results showed that patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer had higher levels of two particular oral bacteria, Leptotrichia and Campylobacter , when compared to any other healthy or diseased state including non-cancerous pancreatic disease. Those with pancreatic cancer also had lower levels of Streptococcus, Treponema and Veillonella.

(With Agencies inputs)