“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