LMU-CDM Faculty Research Published in Communications Biology Journal

Dr. Ehsanul Apu

Lincoln Memorial University-College of Dental Medicine (LMU-CDM) Assistant Professor Ehsanul Hoque Apu, D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., authored a research paper that was published in the "Communications Biology" journal.

The paper focuses on current detection methods for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), a form of mouth cancer, and whether they are adequate and optimal.

“The metabolic alterations can trigger differences in fluorescence, which can lead to early cancer detection, as well as pave a direction for image-guided therapies”, says Dr. Hoque Apu. This a collaborative effort between Michigan State University, Stanford University and Tokyo Dental College in Japan. 

According to the synopsis, commercial handheld devices for the detection of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) are based on loss of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) autofluorescence, but it is not clear if this is free or bound FAD and whether commercial devices have been optimized for the molecular basis of loss of fluorescence. Here, we reported that free FAD levels may not account for differences in autofluorescence of OSCC cells, but that the differences relate to FAD as a co-factor for flavination. The metabolism of OSCC cells was found to be significantly altered relative to normal cells, revealing vulnerabilities for both diagnosis and therapy.

The study links the optical properties of tumors to the altered metabolism of cancer cells and thus reveals new signatures for imaging and directed therapy.

Read the full research paper here

"Communications Biology" is an open-access journal from Nature Portfolio that publishes high-quality research in all areas of the biological sciences. According to 2022 Journal Citation Reports®, Communications Biology has a 2-year impact factor: 5.90.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. Lincoln Memorial University-College of Dental Medicine (LMU-CDM) is home to the Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) and Dental Hygiene (DH) programs. It is located in Knoxville at the newly renovated LMU Tower. For more information about LMU-CDM programs contact, CollegeofDentalMedicine@LMUnet.edu.

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