Early Detection of HPV-Positive and -Negative Head-and-Neck Cancer through Saliva Based Screening

Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a non-invasive method for the early detection of human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive and -negative head and neck cancer using saliva samples. This method has potential research and clinical applications including diagnosis of HPV-positive and -negative head-and-neck cancer. The approach detects several genes characteristic of each type of cancer HNSCC that are commonly detected in head-and-neck cancer. 

Applications: Diagnosis of HPV-positive and -negative head-and-neck cancer; research applications


  • Non-invasive as it only requires saliva from patient
  • Saliva-based screening is quick (i.e., hours) and easy as it uses common laboratory equipment
  • Head-and-neck screening can be completed more than the recommendation of once a year because it is low in cost, fast, and non-invasive. 
  • Early detection of HNSCC