Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 517–524 | Cite as

Salivary level of interleukin-8 in oral precancer and oral squamous cell carcinoma

  • Silky Rajesh Punyani
  • Ramhari Shankarrao Sathawane
Original Article



Interleukin 8 (IL-8) is a pro-angiogenic, pro-inflammatory mediator that belongs to the family of chemokines. Due to its pro-angiogenic characteristic, it may play a vital role in tumour angiogenesis and progression.


This study was designed to estimate the levels of salivary IL-8 in oral precancer and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients and compare them with healthy controls. The aim was to evaluate its efficacy as a potential biomarker for these diseases.

Materials and methods

Each group comprised 25 individuals. The salivary IL-8 levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


The levels of salivary IL-8 were found to be significantly elevated in patients with OSCC as compared to the precancer group (p < 0.0001) and healthy controls (p < 0.0001). However, the difference in salivary IL-8 concentrations among the precancer group and controls was statistically non-significant (p = 0.738).


Our results suggested that salivary IL-8 can be utilised as a potential biomarker for OSCC. Salivary IL-8 was found to be non-conclusive for oral premalignancy in this preliminary study. Hence, its possible role in transition from premalignancy to malignancy needs further research with larger sample sizes.

Clinical relevance

Saliva as a diagnostic biofluid offers a number of advantages over blood-based testing. The role of IL-8 in oral cancer if validated further by future research can provide an easy diagnostic test as well as a prognostic indicator for patients undergoing treatment. Therefore, if it’s role in tumourigenesis can be sufficiently assessed, it could open up new avenues to find out novel treatment modalities for oral cancer.


Oral squamous cell carcinoma Oral precancer Saliva Interleukin-8 ELISA 



Interleukin 8


Oral squamous cell carcinoma


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.


Oral submucous fibrosis


Moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma


Well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silky Rajesh Punyani
    • 1
  • Ramhari Shankarrao Sathawane
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oral Medicine and RadiologyGovernment Dental College and HospitalNagpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Oral Medicine and RadiologyVSPM’s Dental College and Research CentreNagpurIndia

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