FAST Congress
Archived Content

Circulating Tumor Cells - ADAPT Congress 2011


Day 1  |  Day 2 

As Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) technologies move beyond basic enumeration, what can be learned from these cells? Join the faculty of experts to discuss the role of individual technologies for different applications. Identification and analysis of CTCs has moved toward understanding at the molecular level, such as genotyping and high-content analysis of cells. How can we guide patient treatment using these new technologies? Can we identify treatment effects within these cells? What differences are there between the parent bulk tumor cells and the circulating cells? Experts from across pharma, biotech, diagnostics and academia will meet to address and begin to answer these questions at our Circulating Tumor Cells conference.


(SC2) Assay Development and Validation of Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers in Circulating Tumor Cells

(SC3) Novel Cancer Biomarkers

*Separate registration required



7:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee

8:30 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

KEYNOTE Presentation

8:40 A Biomarker View: Progress and Challenges of CTCs

Jeffrey JacksonJeffrey Jackson, Ph.D., Group Director, Oncology Biomarkers, Bristol-Myers Squibb


9:10 Microfiltration Devices to Improve CTC Enumeration and Isolation

Siyang Zheng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Pennsylvania State University

CTC enrichment is required for most of the CTC analysis procedures. Microfiltration devices enrich CTCs from blood based on size exclusion and independent of antigen expression on cell surface. The devices are optimized for recovery, enrichment, blood sample volume, processing time, and cell viability. Multiple ways of CTC characterization on device after enrichment have been demonstrated. Microfiltration device provides a versatile platform for CTC enumeration and analysis.

9:40 Microtentacles in CTCs are Promoted by Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition

Stuart S. Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Physiology, Greenebaum NCI Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Detached and circulating breast tumor cells generate dynamic membrane protrusions that we have named microtentacles, since they are composed of a unique kinesin-dependent coordination of detyrosinated microtubules and vimentin intermediate filaments. Microtentacles promote tumor cell aggregation and reattachment that increase the retention of CTCs in lung capillaries. Our recent studies show that induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) leads to tubulin detyrosination and stabilization in breast tumor cell lines. This EMT-induced increase in tubulin detyrosination promotes microtentacles and the reattachment of breast tumor cells to endothelial cell layers. In human breast tumors, tubulin detyrosination occurs in cells undergoing EMT at invasive tumor fronts and could prime these cells for metastatic success once entering the circulation. These findings provide a possible explanation for why increased levels of detyrosinated tubulin are associated with poor patient survival in breast cancer and a potential mechanism for how EMT in circulating tumor cells could promote metastasis. Since large epithelial tumor cells are crushed when pushed through narrow capillaries by blood flow, we are targeting microtentacles to reduce tumor cell reattachment and increase the fragmentation of circulating tumor cells.

10:10 Networking Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

10:50 Post Capture Enumeration and Molecular Analysis of CTCs: Oncocee TM-Brassay Development for the CLIA Laboratory

Farideh Z. Bischoff, Ph.D., Vice President, Translational Research and CLIA Development, Biocept, Inc.

The Biocept CEE TM (Cell Capture and Extraction) device centers on microfluidics and is designed to selectively capture and enrich target rare cells, including CTCs from blood. Because the Biocept CEE device is attached to the surface of a glass slide, the system is particularly suited for direct and immediate single CTC morphologic assessment, in addition to immunochemical and genetic analysis. The processing of blood samples from advanced stage cancer patients, including breast, prostate and lung, have been optimized for CTC capture, enumeration and post capture analysis of protein levels (ICC) as well as chromosomal/DNA content within Biocept’s CLIA laboratory for commercialized testing. Study design for analytical validation of CTC-based CK-enumeration, HER2 FISH and ER/PR status determination by ICC for the OncoCEE TM-BR test will be discussed.

Sponsored by
11:20 Practical Considerations for Including CTCs in Your Clinical Trials
Craig Miller, Manager of Clinical Sciences, Veridex


11:50 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, The Ohio State University

The currently accepted definition of CTCs are 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. A negative depletion process to isolate and quantify circulating tumor cells from the blood of head and neck cancer patients, using immunomagnetic separation was developed and is currently being validated on a number of solid tumors, including SCCHN and Breast Cancer. Correlation of number of CTCs, (tradition definition) tumor site, tumor stage, nodal status, smoking/alcohol abuse, histopathological characteristics, and clinical outcome was made with the SCCHN patients.

12:20 pm Clinical Application of CTCs in Lung Cancer & Malignant Effusions

Steven M. Albelda, M.D., Vice Chief, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Division; Director, Lung Research; Co-Director, Thoracic Oncology Laboratories, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

Unlike other tumors, such as breast, colon, and prostate cancers, it has been more difficult to apply CTC technology to lung cancer. Three areas relating to CTC technology in patients with thoracic malignancies will be discussed. These include: 1) studies to define why it has been difficult to detect CTC’s in non-small cell lung cancer, 2) data describing the use of CTCs in small cell lung cancer to estimate tumor volume and to evaluate responses to chemotherapy, and 3) a new approach showing the utility of the Cell Search technology to diagnose malignant cells in pleural fluid.

12:50 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Lunch on Your Own



1:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

Gavin P. Robertson, Ph.D., Program Leader, Pharmacology, Pennsylvania State University

1:55 The Prognostic and Predictive Value of Enumeration and Molecular Characterization

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

2:25 CTC Utility in Modern Drug Development

Fred Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Clinical Research Scientist, Clinical Biomarker Group, Oncology Clinical Development, AstraZeneca




2:55 CTCs and Lung Metastasis Development

Gavin P. Robertson, Ph.D., Program Leader, Pharmacology, Pennsylvania State University

Metastasis is a complex process requiring cell detachment from the primary tumor and CTC migration to secondary sites via lymphatic or blood circulatory systems. CTCs must survive blood flow shear forces and immune system challenges, finally becoming entrapped and extravasating into surrounding tissue to form metastases. Only a minority of CTCs trapped in the lung capillaries ever form metastases, mediated by chemokines secreted from CTCs that promote interaction with the extracellular environment. Entrapped CTCs in lungs produce and secrete chemokine IL-8, which attracts neutrophils to promote interaction with, and tethering to vascular endothelium enabling transendothelial CTC migration and metastasis development.

3:25 Networking Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

4:00 Multiple Parameter Characterization of Circulating Tumor Cells Isolated Using a Microfluidic Vortex Generator

Shannon Stott, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

4:30 Detection of Circulating Tumor Cell Heterogeneity at the Single Cell Level and Determination of Defined Targets on These Cells for Individualized Therapy

Katharina Pachmann, Ph.D., Professor, Experimental Hematology & Oncology, University of Jena

Expression profiling could be successfully performed from more than 80% of all individually deposited isolated cells demonstrating the epithelial nature of these cells but also heterogeneity among the cells of individual patients with respect to other genes. Thus we show that circulating epithelial cells from breast cancer patients can be individually deposited and these single cells can subsequently be subject to expression profiling.

5:00-6:00 pm Interactive Breakout Discussion Groups

Table 1: Challenges in Development of CTC Biomarker Assays

Moderator: Lihua Wang, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, PADIS, LHTP, Applied Developmental Directorate, NCI/NIH


Table 2: Value and Utility of CTC Data in Drug Development

Moderator: Haifeng Bao, Ph.D., R&D Translational Sciences, MedImmune

6:00-7:00 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


Day 1  |  Day 2