18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) is usually used for staging or evaluation of treatment response rather than for cancer screening. However,18F-FDG PET/CT has also been used in Japan for cancer screening in people with no cancer symptoms, and accumulating evidence supports this application of18F-FDG PET/CT. Previously, we have observed a correlation between the saliva and tumor metabolomic profiles in patients with oral cancer. Hence, if salivary metabolites demonstrate a significant correlation with PET parameters such as the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), they may have the potential to be used as a screening tool before PET/CT to identify patients with high SUVmax. Hence, in this study, we aimed to explore the relationship between salivary metabolites and SUVmax of18F-FDG PET/CT using previously collected data.18F-FDG PET/CT was performed for staging 26 patients with oral cancer. The collected data were integrated and analyzed along with quantified salivary hydrophilic metabolites obtained from the same patients with oral cancer and controls (n = 44). In total, 11 metabolites showed significant correlations with SUVmax in the delayed phases. A multiple logistic regression model of the two metabolites showed the ability to discriminate between patients with oral cancer and controls, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.738 (p = 0.001). This study uniquely confirmed a relationship between salivary metabolites and SUVmax of PET/CT in patients with oral cancer; salivary metabolites were significantly correlated with SUVmax. These salivary metabolites can be used as a screening tool before PET/CT to identify patients with high SUVmax, i.e., to detect the presence of oral cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas