Chairside Oral HPV Test in Development
Today’s patients often expect instant results, and now researchers are one step closer to developing a rapid oral human papillomavirus (HPV) test that could deliver chairside results. The test would enable medical and oral health professionals to test for HPV — which is linked to cervical and oropharyngeal cancer — via an oral assay. At the center of this development is Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque, PhD, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, who is co-investigating the rapid oral test in collaboration with Sunnyvale, California-based InSilixa Inc. “There is no oral HPV test currently available, and persistence of high-risk HPV types is an important risk factor for cancer development,” she says. “This test would detect HPV in saliva, and it would be selective for types of the virus that are highest risk for causing oral cancer.”
InSilixa plans to formulate the test developed in Webster-Cyriaque’s lab as a chairside diagnostic suitable for widespread clinical use. The company has received a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the test’s development.