Approximately one-third of advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) recur within 2 years of treatment. Due to ease of collection, saliva is of interest to monitor changes that correlate with treatment. Previously this was a challenge due to xerostomia after conventional radiation. The emergence of gland-sparing radiation has made it possible to collect saliva post-treatment. This study investigated changes in cytokines in saliva pre- and post-treatment to provide foundational knowledge for future studies exploring the use of saliva to monitor treatment response.Study Design.
Pre- and post-treatment saliva was evaluated for 8 cytokines by multiplex assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Results.
In oropharyngeal HNSCC, secretion of epidermal growth factor (EGF), GROα (Growth-regulated protein alpha), interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α, and vascular endothelial growth factor increased significantly post-treatment. In additional patients, significant increases of GR-α and IL-6 were validated, but EGF showed no change.Conclusions.
The uniqueness of this study is its comparison of salivary cytokines from HNSCC patients pre- and post-treatment.