In the last decades, the incidence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has been constantly increasing, yet the survival outcomes have remained essentially unchanged. This, in part, is due to a lack of efficient, non-complex and rapid diagnostic and prognostic tools.
Recently, circulating miRNAs have emerged as a very effective biomarkers amenable to non-invasive liquid biopsies such as saliva sample.
The present invention analyzed a global salivary miRNA expression profile in OSCC patients and healthy subjects which led to the identification and validation in clinical setting of certain miRNAs as reliable biomarkers for OSCC. In contrast to solid biopsies, saliva ones have a potential to provide an an overall view of OSCC tumor heterogeneity thus be more accurate in disease screening, diagnosis and prognosis. The invention has a potential to stratify patients according to their likelihood of relapse.