Want to Save Lives? Detect Oral Cancer EARLY!

March 24, 2015

Did you know that early diagnosis of oral cancer can more than double a patient’s chances of survival?  What if a simple oral rinse could help determine if your patients are at risk for oral cancer?  We could save countless lives with such a technology.

Just in time for Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April, an innovative developer had done just that and recently introduced its patented technology at the International Dental Show in Germany.  Launching this spring, Vigilant Biosciences has invented the OncAlert Oral Cancer Risk Assessment System, a simple oral rinse procedure for assessment and intervention of early stage oral cancer.

Early Detection Is Key
Historically, oral cancer is usually detected through a visual exam and diagnosed in its later stages, often going undetected until it’s metastasized.  More than 40% of those diagnosed with oral cancer die within five years due to these cases being discovered as a late-stage malignancy, according to the Oral Cancer Awareness Foundation.  Early diagnosis can more than double a patient’s chances of survival: When detected early, oral cancer patients have a remarkably improved 80% to 90% survival rate.  However, early oral cancers and precancerous lesions are often subtle and asymptomatic.  So how do we detect oral cancer in its early stages?

How Does It Work?
According to a white paper by John Comisi, DDS, MAGD, researchers discovered that a family of salivary proteins (CD44) is found in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and is thought to promote tumorigenesis. Simplified, if the SOLCD44 protein is elevated in saliva, it could mean oral cancer is present.

Even before any visual or physical symptoms of cancer are present, Vigilant’s salivary diagnostic test, the OncAlert Oral Cancer Risk Assessment System, will detect SOLCD44 and protein levels. Those with elevated SOLCD44 and protein levels are 25 times more likely to have cancer than those without.

The OncAlert oral rinse procedure is easy to administer and non-invasive for the patient – simply rinse, spit and wait for test results. The test is particularly beneficial for high-risk populations such as current and former tobacco users, those who consume alcohol, and people with human papillomavirus (HPV).

“As a practicing dental professional, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that oral cancer can have when detected at a late stage,” said Dr. John Comisi, Chief Dental Officer of Vigilant Biosciences. “The OncAlert system will elevate the standard of care and transform the detection of oral cancer by providing a very simple and very specific method for assessing risk in individuals. It’s non-invasive and takes only seconds to administer with the rapid, point-of-care test providing results in minutes, making it easy to incorporate into a routine exam.”

Source: Dental Product Shopper

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