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2014 Archived Content

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Fourth Annual

Circulating Tumor Cells

Spotlight on Clinical Validation

February 10-12, 2014 | Moscone North Convention Center | San Francisco, CA


Circulating tumor cells (CTC) remain one of the most promising areas of cancer research for guiding patient treatment and predicting cancer progression. Substantial progress is being made on technologies for the detection, characterization and analysis of CTCs. However, the biology of CTCs needs to be better understood in order for biomarkers to be identified and utilized properly. This conference will address the new evidence regarding cancer cell types and tumor progression. Additionally, case studies will showcase how engineering improvements can be applied directly to clinical care and companion diagnostics.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Download Brochure 

Monday, February 10

Scientific Advisory Board

Stefanie Jeffrey, M.D., John and Marva Warnock Professor, Department of Surgery, Chief of Surgical Oncology Research, Stanford University School of Medicine
Klaus Pantel, M.D., Professor and Founding Director, Institute of Tumor Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg
Steven A. Soper, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemistry
William H. Pryor Emeritus Professor, Director, Center for BioModular Multi-scale Systems, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Avraham Rasooly, Ph.D., Special Assistant for Cancer Technologies and Translational Research, Division of Cancer Biology, National Cancer Institute

10:30 am Conference Program Registration

Opening Keynote Session: Criteria for Validation

11:50 Chairperson's Opening Remarks

Mark Connelly, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Cellular Research, Janssen R&D

12:00 Clinical Validation

Howard I. Scher, M.D., D. Wayne Calloway Chair in Urologic Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate and Urologic Cancers; Chief, Genitourinary Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Recent insights into the molecular basis of prostate cancer led to the successful development of rationally designed therapies targeting the androgen receptor (AR) and AR signaling axis. Not all patients respond, suggesting the presence of predictive biomarkers of sensitivity. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) provide a representation of the genetic makeup of an individual patient’s tumor. Most studiesanalyze cells in bulk, limiting the ability to identify molecular changes present in smaller populations that may be associated with de novo or acquired resistance. Single-cell genomic analyses avoid this limitation, and an opportunity to better guide management.

12:30 Validation in Clinic and Trial: Why So Hard?

George W. Sledge Jr., M.D., Chief, Oncology, Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine

1:00 Session Break

1:15 Luncheon Presentation I: Comprehensive Characterization of Circulating Tumor Cells: Molecular Analysis on What Counts

Mark Connelly, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Cellular Research, Janssen R&D 

1:45 Luncheon Presentation II: Blood-Based Strategies to Monitor Disease and Response to Targeted Therapies 
Cloud Paweletz, Ph.D., Head, Translation Research Laboratory, Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science, Dana Faber Cancer Institute 

 2:15 Session Break 


2:30 Chairperson’s Remarks

Klaus Pantel, M.D., Professor & Founding Director, Institute of Tumor Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg

2:35 Prognostic Indicators in Peripheral Blood of Dukes’ Stage B Colorectal Cancer Cases

Koshi Mimori, M.D., Ph.D., Director & Professor, Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, Japan

We identified EMT inducible gene Plastin3 (PLS3), an actin bundling protein. PLS3 in the peripheral blood is a suitable new marker for CTCs that has strong and independent prognostic significance in CRC, especially in Dukes’ Stage B patients, who have the strongest need for improved risk assessment.

3:05 Schedule Change: Please attend concurrent session of your choice.

NEW TIME: Wednesday February 12 at 3:15 Detection and Characterization of Viable Circulating Tumor Cells

Catherine Alix-Panabières, Ph.D., Maître de Conférence, Praticien Hospitalier, Associate Professor, Director, Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells, Institute of Research in Biotherapy, Saint-Eloi Hospital, University Medical Centre of Montpellier

The enumeration and characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood and disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in bone marrow may provide important prognostic information and might help to monitor efficacy of therapy. Since current assays cannot distinguish between apoptotic and viable DTCs/CTCs, it is now possible to apply a novel ELISPOT assay (designated ‘EPISPOT’) that detects proteins secreted/released/shed from single epithelial cancer cells.

3:35 CTC vs. ctDNA – Which is More Informative?

Klaus Pantel, M.D., Professor & Founding Director, Institute of Tumor Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg

The analysis of therapeutic targets and drug resistance-conferring gene mutations on CTCs and ctDNA opens new perspectives in cancer therapy. The current challenges of CTCs and ctDNA as biomarkers in clinical oncology will be discussed. Both CTCs and ctDNA are complementary technologies that can be used in parallel in future trials assessing new drugs or drug combinations.

4:05 Comparing Genomic Mutations from Solid Tumors and CTCs: A Case Study

Nicolo Manaresi, Ph.D., Technology Officer, Silicon Biosystems S.p.A.

The paper will present preliminary results from a study in which mutational status of individual tumor cells recovered from tissue biopsies are compared to the mutational profiles of CTCs recovered from the same patient.

4:20 High Precision Microfilters Accurately Identify True Circulating Tumor Cells and Other Cancer Markers

Cha-Mei Tang, Sc.D., President & CEO, Creatv MicroTech, Inc.

Precision microfilters provide rapid and efficient capture of CTCs and other biomarkers. The filtration system provides gentle and easy workflow. Cells are well preserved enabling high-definition fluorescent imaging to accurately identify CTCs by morphology. Single cells can be extracted for analysis. CTCs can be cultured directly in the filtration system.

4:35 Refreshment Break and Transition to Plenary Keynote

5:00 Plenary Keynote Session (Click Here For More Details) 

6:15 Grand Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

7:45 Close of Day

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Download Brochure