A peptide targeting method has been developed for diagnostic protein discovery, which combines proteolytic digestion of fractionated plasma proteins and liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-TOFMS) profiling. Proteolysis prior to profiling overcomes molecular weight limitations and compensates for the poor sensitivity of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) protein profiling. LC/MS increases the peak capacity compared to crude fractionation techniques or single sample MALDI analysis. Differentially expressed peptides are targeted in the mass chromatograms using bioinformatic techniques and subsequently sequenced with MALDI tandem MS. In a model study comparing pancreatic cancer patients to controls, 74% of the peptide targets were successfully sequenced. This profiling method was superior to previous experiments using single sample MALDI analysis for protein profiling or proteolytic peptide profiling, because more potential protein markers were identified.