Differential scanning calorimetry of blood plasma for clinical diagnosis and monitoring

Exp Mol Pathol. 2009 Jun;86(3):186-91. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2008.12.001. Epub 2008 Dec 16.


Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) provides a useful method to study the unfractionated plasma proteome. Plasma from healthy individuals yields a reproducible signature thermogram which results from the weighted sum of the thermal denaturation of the most abundant plasma proteins. Further investigation of the thermogram for healthy individuals showed it to be sensitive to ethnicity and gender. DSC analysis of plasma from diseased individuals revealed significant changes in the thermogram which are suggested to result not from changes in the concentration of the major plasma proteins but from interactions of small molecules or peptides with these proteins. Closer examination of the diseased thermograms showed a thermogram characteristic of each disease. For cervical cancer, the DSC method yields a progressively shifted thermogram as the disease advances from pre-invasive conditions to late stage cancer. Our application of the DSC method has provided a potential tool for the early diagnosis, monitoring and screening of cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Proteins / chemistry
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Neoplasm Proteins / blood
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Neoplasms / blood*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Plasma / chemistry*
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / blood
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis


  • Blood Proteins
  • Ligands
  • Neoplasm Proteins