The analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and tumor cell products (DNA, RNA, extracellular vesicles) released into the blood may provide clinically relevant information as "liquid biopsy" and provide new insights into tumor biology. Various technologies have been developed over the past 10 years which include label-dependent assays based on the expression of tumor-associated cell surface antigens and label-independent assays based on physical properties of tumors cells distinct from the surrounding leukocytes. After detection, CTCs can be further analyzed at the DNA, RNA and protein level to obtain global information on tumor biology and targets relevant to cancer therapy. In particular, microRNAs control various genes and pathways that impact the biology of tumor cells.
Liquid biopsy analyses with validated platforms provides reliable information on early detection of cancer, identification of cancer patients at risk to develop relapse (prognosis), and it may serve to monitor tumor evolution, identify therapeutic targets or mechanisms of resistance on metastatic cells. Metastatic cells have unique characteristics that can differ from the bulk of cancer cells in the primary tumor currently used for stratification of patients to systemic therapy. Moreover, monitoring of blood samples before, during and after systemic therapy (e.g., chemotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy) will provide unique information for the future clinical management of the individual cancer patient and might serve as surrogate marker for response to therapy.
This conference will focus on the biology behind liquid biopsy biomarkers, new technical developments and members of the liquid biopsy biomarker family and how liquid biopsy analysis can be used to improve the management of cancer patients and contribute to precision medicine.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. Please check back regularly for updates to this information.
- Keynote Session: Frontiers and Grand Challenges in Liquid Biopsy Research
- The Biology Behind Liquid Biopsy Biomarkers
- Genotypic CTC and ctDNA Analysis
- Phenotypic and Functional Analysis of CTCs
- Early-Career Investigator Presentations
- Extracellular Vesicles
- High Performance Analytical Technologies for Liquid Biopsy
- Liquid Biopsy and Clinical Utility
- New Liquid Biopsy Biomarkers