Tokyo: Japanese and US universities have jointly developed a medical technique that can quickly detect various cancers using a simple saliva test, researchers said on Tuesday.

Japan's Keio University and University of California, Los Angeles, have developed the technology with which they detected high probabilities of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and oral cancer.

The researchers analysed saliva samples of 215 people, including cancer patients, and identified 54 substances whose presence can be used to detect the disease, Keio University said in a statement released on Monday.

By further analysing the substances, the test detected 99 per cent of pancreatic cancer cases, 95 per cent of breast cancer and 80 per cent of oral cancer cases among those taking part, it said. The cancer test using the technology would take half a day at the longest, the researchers said.