FAST Congress
Archived Content

Circulating Tumor Cells


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Friday, September 21

7:30-8:15 am Morning Coffee or Sponsored Breakfast Presentation (Opportunity Available)

Contact Ilana Quigley at or 781-972-5457

CTC Utility in Disease Diagnosis and Prognosis 

8:30-8:35 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

8:35-9:00 Expanding the Definition of Traditional CTCs: Cells Associated with Cancer in the Blood of Patients with Solid Tumors

Jeffrey Chalmers, Ph.D., Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ohio State University

The currently accepted definition of CTCs is cells that have a nuclei, cytokeratin+ EpCAM+ and
CD45-. Emerging evidence suggests that other rare, cancer-associated circulating cells are present in the blood of metastatic cancer patients including CD45+ cytokeratin+ cells. In this presentation, results will be presented on further characterization of both traditional CTC as well as these CD45+, CK+ cells using flow cytometry and multispectral, deconvolution fluorescence spectroscopy and will relate this characterization to patient status.

9:00-9:25 Identification and Characterization of a CSC-Like Subset of CTCs from Breast Cancer Patients

Haifeng Bao, Ph.D., Research & Development, Translational Sciences, MedImmune

9:25-9:50 Combating Brain Metastasis: The CTCs Signature

Dario Marchetti, Ph.D., Professor, Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine

This talk will cover: detection and CTC profiling in patients with breast cancer brain metastasis; evaluation of CTCs’ heterogeneity and characteristics by combining multiple CTC technologies and platforms; selection of CTC subsets and identification of candidate genes predictive of breast cancer brain metastasis; and interrogation of CTCs’ metastatic competency in xenotransplantation animal studies.

9:50-10:15 Genomic Profiling of CTCs in Melanoma Patients and Disease Outcome

Dave S. B. Hoon, M.Sc., Ph.D., Director, Molecular Oncology, John Wayne Cancer Institute

10:15-11:15 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

11:20-11:45 Isolation of Circulating Tumor Cells Using a Novel EMT-Based Capture Method

Rhonda L. Bitting, M.D., Instructor, Department of Medicine, Duke Cancer Institute

Using the CellSearch® system (Veridex, USA), CTCs are captured from patients with metastatic breast and prostate cancer using EMT-based ferrofluids and the enumeration compared to standard EpCAM-based capture methods.

11:45 am-12:10 pm Incorporating CTCs into Pharmaceutical Drug Development

David R. Shalinsky, Ph.D., Senior Principal Research Scientist, Cancer Biomarkers, Abbott

Requirements and challenges, e.g., fit-for-purpose analytical validation, mechanistic testing, decision-making, and potential diagnostic development, will be reviewed in the context of effectively incorporating CTCs into pharmaceutical drug development.

12:10-12:35 The Dissemination of Prostate Cancer Cells to Bone: What We Have Learned about DTC, EMT, Dormancy and the Remaining Challenges

Robert L. Vessella, Ph.D., Professor, Vice-Chair, Director, Genitourinary Cancer Research Laboratory, Department of Urology, University of Washington Medical Center

Prostate cancer has a very high propensity to metastasize to bone. Cells shed from the primary tumor enter the circulation (circulating tumor cells; CTC) and seed distant sites, e.g. the bone marrow (disseminated tumor cells; DTC). We hypothesized that the timing of dissemination and the biological/molecular character of the DTC would provide significant insight into the metastatic process with assessment of DTC being potentially useful in clinical management. Although DTC are detected in the BM early in the disease process, many patients don’t experience a clinically relevant metastasis for several years suggesting a dormant tumor state. Characterization of DTC now requires the challenge of analysis at the single cell level.

12:35-1:00 Circulating Tumor Cells as a Prostate Cancer Biomarker and Platform for Personalized Oncology

Oscar Goodman, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director, Clinical Trials Office, UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute

Circulating tumor cell enumeration provides important prognostic and predictive information for patients with metastatic breast, colon and prostate cancers. We present our single institutional experience with the Cellsearch® platform in metastatic prostate cancer for both hormone-sensitive and castration-resistant disease. Recently with the goal of increasing the sensitivity and generalizability of the test, a number of second generation CTC platforms have been proposed. We propose through the development of an ex vivo CTC culturing method that viable circulating tumor cells may be sufficiently amplified in number, providing an alternate platform for both biomarker and therapeutic development.

1:00 Close of Conference

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