The development of low-or non-invasive screening tests for cancer is crucial for early detection. Saliva is an ideal biofluid containing informative components for monitoring oral and systemic diseases. Metabolomics has frequently been used to identify and quantify numerous metabolites in saliva samples, serving as novel biomarkers associated with various conditions, including cancers. This review summarizes the recent applications of salivary metabolomics in biomarker discovery in oral cancers. We discussed the prevalence, epidemiologic characteristics, and risk factors of oral cancers, as well as the currently available screening programs, in India and Japan. These data imply that the development of biomarkers by itself is inadequate in cancer detection. The use of current diagnostic methods and new technologies is necessary for efficient salivary metabolomics analysis. We also discuss the gap between biomarker discovery and nationwide screening for the early detection of oral cancer and its prevention.
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