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Spectrum Solutions, UCLA Partner to Study Saliva-Based Early-Stage Lung Cancer Detection

NEW YORK – Spectrum Solutions on Wednesday announced a sponsored research study with the University of California, Los Angeles to explore the use of saliva for early-stage lung cancer detection. The group aims to validate saliva tumor-specific circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) detection sensitivity and positive agreement against tissue biopsy-based genotyping.

As part of the study led by David Wong, professor of oral biology at the UCLA School of Dentistry, the researchers will collect, preserve, and transport saliva for DNA testing using Spectrum's saliva collection system.

Wong and his team will use next-generation sequencing to compare saliva and plasma samples from 50 non-small cell lung cancer patients to identify ultra-short ctDNA in saliva. The team will also use special extraction methods to improve the overall sensitivity of current liquid biopsy methods.

Spectrum is providing funding for the study and will further support development of clinical methods and additional technical innovations.

"Saliva-based liquid biopsy ctDNA detection can be used to not only provide an accurate cancer diagnosis, but additionally track the actionable mutations, monitor a response to treatments, and assess the emergence of drug resistance," Wong said in a statement. "This study's non-invasive use of saliva for the analysis of ctDNA will prove to overcome current limitations, provide procedures that improve detection sensitivity, and offer significant clinical impact on early detection, risk assessment, screening, diagnosis, and personalized [and] precision medicine."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We are proud to sponsor Dr. Wong and UCLA in this exciting research project to unlock and harness the potential of saliva as a primary diagnostic resource to combat and improve the lives and wellbeing of people around the world," Stephen Fanning, president and CEO of Spectrum, said in a statement.