Minimally and noninvasive investigation of pathology and treatment monitoring is highly attractive in medicine. The use of human hair samples as a non-invasive testing substrate is potentially poised to improve diagnostic and forensic medicine. Hair has the unique ability to capture long-term information about health and disease in an individual as compared to urine and blood. Testing long hair offers a potential means of long-term monitoring of drug compliance, drug abuse, chronic alcohol abuse, and diagnostic biomarker discovery. Even though human hair is mostly composed of keratin and keratin-associated proteins, very little literature has been published on human hair proteomics. Emerging high throughput omics based techniques such as proteomics are increasingly improving our depth of knowledge about the diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of diseases globally. Although many aspects of the use of these novel molecular aids to improve disease diagnosis and patient management remains elusive; it is evident that these techniques have improved precision medicine tremendously. This chapter aims to discuss current plausible application of human hair omics-based approaches to the field of pathology, diagnostics and precision/individualized medicine.
Part of the book: Keratin
“Omics” based concepts and techniques are gaining momentum in the field of oral medicine, spurred on by rapid advancements within the field of precision diagnostics and therapeutics. Oral cancer, specifically oral squamous cell carcinoma is the most common head and neck cancer, posing both diagnostic and prognostic challenges globally. Saliva offers several advantages as a diagnostic tool and has gained recognition as a biological medium for liquid biopsy. Salivary biomarkers, such as exosomes not only contain the full spectrum of genomic, lipidomic and proteomic material from its cell of origin, but are also more stable and consistently measurable in saliva due to their phospholipid structural protection of their merchandise/contents. Salivary exosomes are mediators in communication and transfer of contents between cancer and normal cells and thus key role players in mediating the tumor environment. Even though exosomes have been widely employed to investigate systemic diseases including head and neck cancers, unraveling the biologic mechanisms, scope of application of salivary tumor-derived exosomes and overcoming restrictions in this emergent field of saliva-exosomics warrants further investigation.
Part of the book: Oral Cancer