TRI hosts the Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners, Translational Research Institute, Circulating Tumour Cell Symposium

The Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners (BDHP), Translational Research Institute (TRI), Circulating Tumour Cell (CTC) Symposium was recently held at the Translational Institute on the Princess Alexandra Hospital Campus.

Attended by some 130 delegates, the one day symposium addressed a wide spectrum of topics in the fields of circulating tumour cells (CTC) and liquid biopsy.

 More than 73% of the registrants represented BDHP partners at QUT, UQ and Griffith Universities, affiliated research institutes, and Qld Health, while the rest came from Victoria, NSW, WA and SA.  Representatives from seven companies and industry were also in attendance, together with representatives from consumer advocacy groups.

 Co-Conveners, Prof Colleen Nelson, Executive Director of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland, and Prof Rik Thompson, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Theme Leader for Chronic Disease and Ageing, agreed that the meeting was a resounding success.

 “The symposium provided up to date coverage of many aspects of CTC research and implementation across the four major themes: Capture / Isolation; Culture / Propagation; Functional & Molecular Characterisation; ctDNA / CTC / DTC comparisons,” said Prof Nelson.

 Each of the thematic sessions was presented in a workshop style, featuring short focused presentations from invited speakers followed by open comments from the floor with discussion from the Speaker Panel. Each of these themes was also explored in more detail with separate break-out sessions for one hour after lunch.

Prof Thompson commended the various speakers and presenters for their valued contributions: “Our international guest, Prof Jean Paul Thiery, Head of the Department of Biochemistry of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and member of the Cancer Science Institute, National University of Singapore, delivered an outstanding presentation on epithelial mesenchymal transition, lively discussion and broad knowledge base and experience in translational science,”

 “The National speakers, Dr Majid Ibrahim Warkiani, Prof Matt Trau, Dr Ian Vela, A/Prof Olga Martin, A/Prof Kevin Spring, A/Prof Chamindie Punyadeera, Prof Erik Thompson, A/Prof Alex Dobrovic, Dr Albert Mellick, and Dr Joachim Fluher, provided terrific insight into the very active research ongoing in Australia in the CTC field.”

“Technical presentations on the latest technologies were made by our session sponsors: Dr Anthony Davis kindly presented on behalf of ALS CellCelector, Dr Evgeny Glazov for BioRad, Dr Joachim Fluher (Genostics) on behalf of Prof. Katharina Pachmann from Maintrac.”

“A meeting highlight was the discussion session at the end of the day,” added Prof Thompson.” This was chaired by Prof Colleen Nelson, who involved all the speakers from the day in a very insightful and critical discussion on the translation of CTCs into clinical utility. This discussion went for almost an hour with strong contributions both from the floor and audience.”

Session sponsors included Maintrac – Genostics, Illumina, ALS and StemCell Technologies, with meeting sponsorship from Agena Bioscience, Bio-Rad, Clearbridge Biomedics, GeneWorks, and Qiagen. The EMPathy Breast Cancer Network / National Breast Cancer Foundation, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland, and Translational Research Institute also provided support for the meeting.

 “We very gratefully acknowledge all our sponsors and supporters,” said Prof Nelson. “We are especially appreciative of the generous sponsorship by a number of CTC-related equipment and diagnostics companies, which allowed us to simplify and open up the meeting with free registration.”

 “We would also like to thank the local organising committee: Tony Blick, Anthony Davies, Jennifer Gunter, Arutha Kulasinghe, Liliana Endo-Munoz, Ken O’Byrne, Chamindie Punyadeera, Euan Walpole, Elizabeth Williams, for their valuable contributions to the success of the day,” said Prof Thompson.