Scientists have found that using the heat profile from a person’s blood, called plasma thermogram, can indicate the presence or absence of cervical cancer and also predict the stage of the disease.
Researchers at the University of Louisville led by Nichola Garbett demonstrated that the plasma thermogram profile varies when a person has or does not have cervical cancer.
To generate a plasma thermogram, a blood plasma sample is “melted” producing a unique signature indicating a person’s health status.
This signature represents the major proteins in blood plasma, measured by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC).
Researchers believe that molecules associated with the presence of disease, called biomarkers, can affect the thermogram of someone with cervical disease.
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They used mass spectrometry to show that biomarkers associated with cervical cancer existed in the plasma.
“The key is not the actual melting temperature of the thermogram, but the shape of the heat profile,” Garbett said.
“We have been able to establish thermograms for a number of diseases. Comparing blood samples of patients who are being screened or treated against those thermograms should enable us to better monitor patients as they are undergoing treatment and follow-up,” Garbett said.