Estimation of Serum and Salivary Sialic Acid Level in Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Keywords:sialic acid, squamous cell carcinoma, tumor biomarker
Background: Sialic acid is a glycoprotein that is considered as an important constituent of cell membrane. Altered glycosylation is one of the important molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Several studies in past have shown that changes in serum and salivary sialic acid levels in cancer patients correlate well with tumor burden. Some of the findings suggested that sialic acid levels could be elevated in cancer patients before the occurrence of clinical symptoms. The purpose of this study is to estimate serum and salivary sialic acid level in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients and correlate their level with the histopathological grading of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Methods: Blood and saliva samples were collected from 50 patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma and 50 healthy subjects. Serum and salivary sialic acid levels in both free and protein bound forms were measured spectrophotometrically. This was correlated with histopathological grades of oral squamous cell carcinoma. The statistical analysis was done using SPSS software.
Results: A statistically significant rise in serum and salivary sialic acid level was noted in OSCC subjects compared to the controls. Furthermore, significant difference in both serum and salivary sialic acid level was noted between well and poorly differentiated OSCC.
Conclusions: Our report suggests that sialic acid is a valuable biomarker of oral squamous cell carcinoma. It may be used to assess the histological grading of oral cancer and predict the disease outcome and response to the therapy.