U of L scientists find simple indicator for cervical cancer

Further clinical study could result in the plasma thermogram as a compliment test to the traditional screening method for cervical cancer.
U of L scientists find simple indicator for cervical cancer

University of Louisville investigators noted that plasma thermograms have different patterns associated with different demographics, as well as for different diseases.

Researchers at the University of Louisville have confirmed that using the heat profile from a person's blood, called a plasma thermogram, can serve as an indicator for the presence or absence of cervical cancer, including the stage of cancer.

The team, led by Nichola Garbett, Ph.D., of the University of Louisville Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, published its findings online Jan. 8 in PLOS ONE ("Detection of Cervical Cancer Biomarker Patterns in Blood Plasma and Urine by Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Mass Spectrometry").

"We have been able to demonstrate a more convenient, less intrusive test for detecting and staging cervical cancer," Garbett said. "Additionally, other research has shown that we are able to demonstrate if the current treatment is effective so that clinicians will be able to better tailor care for each patient."

Other team members from the U of L Department of Medicine include Brad Chaires, Ph.D., also of the oncology division, and Michael Merchant, Ph.D., and Jon Klein, M.D., Ph.D., of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertenstion.

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).

The team demonstrated that the plasma thermogram profile varies when a person has or does not have the disease, and they believe that molecules associated with the presence of disease, called biomarkers, can affect the thermogram of someone with cervical disease. They used mass spectrometry to show that biomarkers associated with cervical cancer existed in the plasma.



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