Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, and with a long-term 50 percent survival rate, it’s also one of the more deadly cancers. To make matters worse, survival rates haven’t improved in the past 30 years.
A University of Minnesota research team is working to change oral cancer statistics by studying the proteins found in saliva. The goal is to identify the proteins that lead to oral cancer—and, in doing so, create a method to diagnose the disease in its earliest stages. The National Institutes of Health is funding the four-year study.