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Archived Content

Circulating Tumor Cells 

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Wednesday, February 22



7:55 am Chairperson’s Remarks

Richard Cote, M.D., FRCPath, Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology; Director, University of Miami Biomedical Nanoscience Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine


8:00 Circulating and Disseminating Tumor Cells in Cancer Care

Stefanie JeffreyStefanie Jeffrey, M.D., Chief, Surgical Oncology Research, Stanford University

Applications for CTCs and DTCs in cancer management will be discussed, including different analytic approaches and strategies for personalized therapy.


8:30 CTC in the Neoadjuvant Setting: Why Do We Need More Information than Tumor PCR?

Jean-Yves Pierga, M.D., Medical Oncology, Institute Curie, Paris

Complete pathological tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is a major independent prognostic indicator of long term outcome and could reflect eradication of micrometastatic disease. Few studies have shown the absence of correlation between pCR and CTC detection. CTC detection, before and after treatment, could be a valuable tool to predict relapse even in complete responders. Monitoring CTC after tumor removal could be a surrogate marker for evaluating adjuvant treatment efficacy.

9:00 Novel Nanotechnology Approaches to Circulating Tumor Cell Capture and Characterization

Richard Cote, M.D., FRCPath, Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology; Director, University of Miami Biomedical Nanoscience Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

We have precision-engineered a novel parylene-microfilter- based,  antigen expression-agnostic, open platform that allows capture, enumeration and characterization of CTCs. This platform enables longitudinal assessment of CTC as ‘liquid biopsy’ (to monitor cancer progression and therapeutic efficacy) and can serve as a companion diagnostic through study of CTCs in pre-clinical models.

Sponsored by

9:30 Capture and Detection of CK+ and CK- CTCs
for Subsequent Molecular Analysis Using the OncoCEE™ Platform

Farideh Bischoff, Ph.D., Vice President, Translational Research & Development, Biocept


10:00 Transition to Plenary Keynote

Sponsored by
Hologic Molecular Diagnostics - small logo 

11:00 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



12:00 pm Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) with EMT Phenotype for Predicting Breast Cancer Progression

Sendurai A. Mani, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular Pathology, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) detected using the expression of EpCAM have been shown to be a good prognostic marker for the clinical outcome of cancer patients. Recent evidence demonstrates that Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) plays a critical role in promoting metastasis and that carcinoma cells loose the expression of EpCAM during EMT.  Clinical association of CTCs with and without EMT property will be discussed further.

12:30 Molecular Characterization of CTCs: Expression of EMT Markers in CTCs of Breast Cancer Patients

Evi Lianidou, Ph.D., Professor, Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (ACTC) Lab, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens

Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) are emerging tumor biomarkers that provide a “liquid biopsy” approach and enable post-treatment monitoring. Moreover, CTCs are well defined targets for understanding tumour biology and tumour cell dissemination. Molecular characterization for CTCs can be used to better understand the biology of metastasis, to improve patient management and help to identify novel targets for biological therapies aimed to prevent metastatic relapse. The role of CTCs in treatment failure and disease progression could be explained by their relation to biological processes, such as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and tumor dormancy.  EMT phenomena endow epithelial cells with enhanced migratory and invasive potential, and as such, have been implicated in many physiological and pathological processes requiring cell migration/invasion. The induction of EMT program not only allows cancer cells to disseminate from the primary tumor, but also promotes their self-renewal capability. Furthermore, the expression of stemness and EMT markers in CTCs has been associated with resistance to conventional anti-cancer therapies and treatment failure, highlighting the urgency of improving tools for detecting and eliminating minimal residual disease. Though the relationships between EMT and CTCs remains largely unexplored, data validating the implication of EMT processes in CTC formation and characterizing EMT/CTC relationships have been recently reviewed. Through many different studies it has been shown that subsets of CTCs have a putative breast cancer stem-cell phenotype, and express EMT markers. Further research on the molecular characterization of CTCs offers an exciting approach to understand better the biology of metastasis and resistance to established therapies, as well as to identify novel therapeutic targets. 

Sponsored by

1:00 Luncheon Presentation I
A Mini-Device for Rapid Isolation by Size and Extensive Characterization of Rare Circulating Tumor Cells

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

The ScreenCell® is a mini device to isolate circulating tumor cells (CTCs). It was developed, including a removable filter, to provide links allowing full access to a complete menu of analytic tools: cellular studies, cell culture and
molecular biology tests.

Sponsored byRarecells1:30 Luncheon Presentation II
Clinical Impact of ISET, A Highly Sensitive Diagnostic Method for Isolation and Immuno-Molecular Characterization of CTC
Patrizia Paterlini Brechot, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Cell Biology/Oncology, University Paris Descartes, Director of INSERM, Unit 807 and CSO, RarecellsISET allows the diagnostic identification of CTC and their specific mutation analysis (KRAS, EGFR, HER2, BRAF etc). Its clinical impact has been demonstrated in patients with non metastatic cancers, showing its value in Personalized Medicine and Predictive Oncology.

2:00 Ice Cream Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

2:30 Plenary Keynote Panel 

3:50 Refreshment Break & Poster Awards in the Exhibit Hall



4:25 Chairperson’s Remarks

Avraham Rasooly, Ph.D., Chief, Disparities Research Branch, Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, National Cancer Institute

4:30 Nano-Velcro Technology to Improve Capture of Circulating Cancer Cells

Hsian-Rong Tseng, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; California NanoSystems Institute

This presentation will introduce a powerful circulating tumor cell (CTC) enrichment/identification technology that leverages the performance of a CTC-capture device with the advantage of a unique biomarker that has preferential uptake and retention in viable tumor cells.  This new approach allows highly efficient isolation of viable (preservative-free) CTCs, thus enabling their functional and molecular analyses in sequence.  Preliminary clinical validation studies revealed that functional and molecular analyses of viable CTCs can better predict prognostic and therapeutic outcomes of prostate cancer patients.

5:00 Laser-Cavitation Based Isolation of Circulating Cancer Cells

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

We have developed a laser-cavitation based system to isolate and manipulate single-cells for molecular characterization. With this system, we investigate the expression level of various cancer genes at the single-cell level.

5:30 Detection and Isolation of Circulating Melanoma Cells Using Photoacoustic Flowmetry

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

Photoacoustic flowmetry is similar to flow cytometry, except it uses laser induced ultrasonic waves generated in pigmented particles under flow.  This technology is suited to detect melanoma cells in blood.  Using photoacoustics and microfluidic principles, we detect and capture circulating melanoma cells in human blood samples to diagnose metastatic disease.

6:00 Microfluidic Biochips for the Label-Free Detection, Isolation & Retrieval of Circulating Tumor Cells

Chwee Teck Lim, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Mechanobiology Institute; Faculty Fellow, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology (SMART); Professor, Division of Bioengineering & Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore

We have devised an effective separation method for CTCs in a microfluidic biochip by utilizing the fact that CTCs are generally larger and stiffer than blood cells. Using physical cell traps placed in the path of blood flow, CTCs are trapped while the more deformable blood constituents are removed.  By reversing the flow, the viable unlabeled CTCs are then collected. 

6:30 Close of Day

Personalized Medicine Coalition 

The Personalized Medicine Coalition invites you to attend a cocktail reception on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. At the Intercontinental San Francisco.
The reception will feature Sue Siegel, General Partner, Mohr Davidow, a leading personalized medicine investor and advocate.

Registration is free for employees of PMC member institutions, government employees and the press; all other members of the personalized medicine community are welcome to attend for $100 and may pay by credit card.

To register, please visit http://conta.cc/xBwLOJ.

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