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Circulating Tumor Cells 

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Circulating Tumor Cells Promo Video 

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The rapid expansion in the use of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as a diagnostic tool and a biomarker will provide a much needed tool in the treatment of cancer.  The use of CTCs provides a non-invasive means of gaining early insight into tumor detection and metastasis, and has become an indispensable tool for patient management and oncology drug development. This conference dedicated to CTCs will cover a range of aspects concerning CTCs’ origin, biology, characterization, enumeration and subsequent analysis.  The conference will also highlight approaches to technology development that include the use of microfluidics for cell enumeration, and case studies on the clinical use of CTCs for guiding the selection of therapy and monitoring response.  This meeting will bring you up to date on the state-of-the-art tools and what is needed to make these technologies robust and ready for use by the clinical community.

Tuesday, February 21

7:00 am Registration

Sponsored by 
Hologic Molecular Diagnostics - small logo 

9:40 Grand Opening Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



11:00 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., F.A.C.P., Professor and Chairman


11:10 The Prognostic and Predictive Value of Enumeration and Molecular Characterization

Massimo ChristofanilliMassimo Cristofanilli, M.D., F.A.C.P., Professor and Chairman, Department of Medical Oncology, G. Morris Dorrance Jr. Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are isolated tumor cells disseminated from the site of disease of metastatic and/or primary cancers, including breast cancer that can be identified and measured in the peripheral blood of patients. The presentation will review the clinical value of enumeration and introduce the most recent advancements in defining the molecular phenotype of CTCs and integrate this information for the prognosis and monitoring of response to therapy, and introduce their utility in pharmacodynamic monitoring.  

11:40 Circulating Tumor Cells as Potential Biomarker for Metastatic Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials for Predicting Benefit and Monitoring Patients 

Howard ScherHoward Scher, M.D., Chief, Genitourinary Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


12:10 pm Clinical Significance of Circulating Tumor Cells in Breast Cancer

Minetta C. Liu, M.D., Associate Professor, Medical and Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Hospital

Prospective clinical trials demonstrate that the enumeration of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has clinical utility when used in conjunction with radiographic imaging and clinical evaluations in the setting of metastatic breast cancer. Further technologic advances are needed in order to increase the detection threshold of CTCs and allow for further phenotypic and genotypic characterization of the collected cells.

Sponsored by 

12:40 Molecular Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells Using the IsoFlux System

Carolyn Conant, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Fluxion Biosciences

This presentation will discuss required attributes of CTC samples for downstream molecular diagnostics. The IsoFlux System is a novel platform that provides access to CTCs with high recovery, high purity, and low liquid volume. Clinical and analytical data will be shown that identifies sensitivity limits for genetic analyses using PCR and FISH approaches.

Sponsored by 

12:55 Luncheon Presentation
A Microfluidic System for the Selection of Circulating Tumor Cells that Utilizes both Affinity and Size Capture Technologies

Denis A. Smirnov, Director, On-Q-ity Inc.

Detection of rare circulating tumor cells (CTC) from blood promises to be valuable for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer patients. Current techniques, based solely on antibody affinity capture, are compromised by low capture efficiencies, presumably due to limited cell surface antigen expression. We will describe a novel CTC platform combining affinity capture with size filtration capture (C5 CTC chip). Utility of this system for enumeration and characterization of circulating cells will also be described.

1:25 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Lunch on Your Own

1:45 Dessert in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



2:15 Chairperson’s Remarks

Steven A. Soper, Ph.D., William H. Pryor Emeritus Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry; Director, Center for Biomodular System, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and WCU Scholar, UNIST, S. Korea

2:20 Collection, Manipulation and Molecular Profiling of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) Using Microfluidics

Steven A. Soper, Ph.D., William H. Pryor Emeritus Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry; Director, Center for Biomodular System, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and WCU Scholar, UNIST, S. Korea

In this presentation, we will discuss the design, fabrication and implementation of a polymer-based modular microfluidic system that can recover with high efficiency CTCs from whole blood using an input volume of 7.5 mL, release the CTCs and then manipulate the CTCs into a containment reservoir using electrokinetics. The CTCs can then be imaged for enumeration and subsequently genotyped at the single-cell level.

2:50 Isolation and Genotyping of Circulating Tumor Cells in a Miniaturized System

Chengxun Liu, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Functional Nanosystems Group, imec

We present a system which integrates immunomagnetic isolation and genotyping for circulating tumor cells. The cell isolation module is featured by cell counting using a microelectronic sensor. For genotyping, 20 specific genetic markers were reversely transcripted, amplified by multiplex ligation probe amplification and electrochemically detected in an automated miniaturized system.

3:20 Multi-Orifice Flow Fractionation (MOFF) for the Isolation and Characterization of Circulating Tumor Cells

Hyo-Il Jung, Ph.D. (Cantab), Associate Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University

This talk will present a new microfluidic method for isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) through the combined use of inertial lift forces and turbulent secondary flows generated in a topographically patterned microchannel (MOFF, multi-orifice flow fractionation).

3:50 A Workflow for Single-Cell Resolution, Automated, Image-Based Sorting of Pure Circulating Tumor Cells and Their Comprehensive Molecular Characterization

Nicolò Manaresi, Ph.D., CTO, Silicon Biosystems S.p.A.Some of the key challenges to unlock the potential of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) in personalized therapy and translational research are related to the low level of purity provided by enrichment techniques, and the small number of CTCs available. We demonstrate a methodology addressing these challenges, based on the DEPArray™ system to sort multiple individual 100%-pure CTCs, followed by their molecular analysis.

Sponsored by 

4:05 CTCscope: A Novel Platform for Detection and Characterization of CTCs using Multiplex RNA in situ Hybridization

Yuling Luo, Ph.D., Advanced Cell Diagnostics, Inc.

4:20 Reception in the Exhibit Hall (Sponsorship Available)

5:20 Breakout Discussions in the Exhibit Hall

Concurrent problem solving breakout discussions, open to all attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors, provide a forum for discussing key issues and meeting potential collaborators. Plan to take part and explore these topics in-depth. Please pick a topic of your choice, find your table and join in.

Innovative Techniques for Characterization of CTCs 

Moderator: John F. Zhong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pathology; Director, Bioinformatics, Gene Therapy Laboratories, University of Southern California School of Medicine 

  • Which cell is a CTC
  • Define CTC with biomarker, DNA mutation or transcriptome
  • Heterogeneity of CTC population
  • Dynamic changes of CTC population for treatment evaluation
  • Challenge of CTC molecular analysis

CTCs: Value for Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and Cancer Personalized Medicine 

Moderator: Enal Razvi, Ph.D., Biotechnology Analyst 

  • CTCs in various cancer types, their origin, and role in metastasis
  • CTC isolation and characterization tools & technologies
  • CTCs in cancer personalized medicine: diagnostic and therapeutic optimization
  • Emerging trends and themes in the CTCs marketplace

Commercializing CTC technologies 

Moderator: John A. Viator, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biological Engineering and Dermatology, University of Missouri 

  • Protecting your technology
  • Licensing your technology from an academic institution
  • Funding your venture

Characterization of CTCs 

Moderator: Yvon E. Cayre, M.D., D.Sci., Professor, Pierre and Marie Curie University; CSO, ScreenCell 

  • Value of enumeration
  • CTCs and tumor initiating cells
  • CTCs and treatment monitoring

“Lost in Translation” – How to Turn Candidate Biomarkers into Validated Diagnostic Tests? 

Moderator: Yuling Luo, Ph.D., Founder, President & CEO, Advanced Cell Diagnostics, Inc. 

  • What are the current and new ways to validate biomarkers?
  • What are the main issues in analytical and clinical validation of biomarker assays?
  • What are the issues with various sample sources (e.g. blood, tissue) for biomarker analysis?
  • What is the impact of cellular and tissue context on biomarker analysis and clinical utility?
  • What is the impact of quantitation on biomarker analysis and clinical utility?
  • How simple and robust should a clinical diagnostic test be?

6:20 Close of Day

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