Narrator: This is Science Today. For the first time, researchers at the UCLA School of Dentistry have developed a standardized saliva-based early detection test for oral cancer. Dr. David Wong, Director of UCLA's Dental Research Institute, says this minimally-invasive test is now ready for further clinical testing.
Wong: And what that means is we're going to take this signature here that we developed here at the University of California , Los Angeles and have it tested in multiple parts in the country to see how this signature oral cancer biomarkers will behave. And if the results come out as we hope it will be, then it will become a clinical test.
Narrator: Oral cancer is the number six most common cancer in the United States , affecting 38 thousand Americans each year.
Wong: It is a terrible, terrible cancer to have because people that are affected by oral cancer, 50% of them die within five years. However, if this disease could be detected earlier, absolutely that would change that.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin .