Researchers Study Tongue Microbiome to Identify Biomarkers That Signal Cancer

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The National Institutes of Health has awarded a 2-year grant to New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) to develop biomarkers for tongue cancer. Along with Donna Albertson, PhD, a professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at NYU Dentistry and an investigator at the Bluestone Center for Clinical Research, Brian L. Schmidt, DDS, MD, PhD, a professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and director of the Bluestone Center for Clinical Research, will investigate the tongue microbiome, building on their previous work in this field.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 49,670 U.S. residents will develop cancers of the oral cavity or oropharynx this year alone. “We hope to learn how to diagnose aggressive cancers earlier, modulate the microbiome, and prevent or slow oral cancer progression,” notes Albertson. “Going forward, this research could lead to the development of new, targeted therapies.” Under the grant, the team is using next-generation sequencing to profile the bacterial community and bioinformatics.

From Decisions in Dentistry. October 2017;3(10):11.

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