1SRM Dental College and Hospitals, Ramapuram, Chennai
2Assistant Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, AECS Maaruti College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bangalore, India
3Professor Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, SRM Dental College, SRM University, Ramapuram, Tamilnadu, India
4National Centre for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology (NCNSNT), University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Tamilnadu, India
5Associate Professor Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, SRM Dental College, SRM University, Ramapuram, Tamilnadu, India
6Professor and Head Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, SRM Dental College, SRM University, Ramapuram, Tamilnadu, India
Aim: To assess the diagnostic utility of serum and salivary interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels in the differential diagnosis of potentially malignant lesions and conditions (PMLs/PMCs) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) in a high oral cancer prevalence region. Methods: After appropriate ethical clearance and informed consent, salivary and blood samples were collected from 100 participants in each group (OSCC, PMLs, and healthy controls). Serum and salivary IL-6 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and data were subjected to appropriate statistical analysis. Results: Significant differences in IL-6 concentration were noted between OSCC and PML/C patients in both serum and saliva, with salivary levels being 2 to 3 fold higher than serum values in all the groups. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrated 96% specificity and 99% sensitivity for salivary IL-6 in differentiating PML from OSCC. Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest that the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-6, is elevated in the saliva of patients with OSSC compared to PMD and controls, and thus may prove to have diagnostic and/or prognostic significance.