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Circulating Biomarkers 2015

October 12, 2015 - October 13, 2015

Circulating Biomarkers 2015

Conference: 30th September - 1st October



Circulating Biomarkers 2015 Glasgow Conference took place on 30th September & 1st October 2015 in Partnership with the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow. Around 120 attendees joined us and enjoyed 2 days of:

DSC_0369Networking activities – Interesting lectures about emerging biomarkers for disease monitoring and drug development – Discussions on the latest research and on the role of liquid biopsies to aid in early disease diagnosis In just the last year circulating biomarkers have gained traction as a cutting edge technology for drug development and medicine. Clinically-approved systems have become available for analyzing circulating DNA. Exosomes and circulating RNA are well into clinical development, commercial liquid biopsy products have been announced by prominent molecular diagnostic firms. These emerging technologies will dramatically lower the cost of accessing disease information and play a crucial role in bringing precision medicine to patients.
The conference brought together biomarker experts to converse with attendees in an interactive format about cutting edge technologies for capture and analysis of biomarker molecules, contributions to our understanding of tumor biology from circulating tumor cells, and the state of the debate on CTCs versus cfDNA. The agenda for this year’s event featured updates on cfDNA, miRNA and CTC’s as well as other kinds of biomarkers such as exosomes that show the promise of clinical utility. The format included presentations from research leaders, panel debates, and ample opportunities to network with other scientists.


Prof Jeff Evans (University of Glasgow), Prof Charles Coombes(Imperial College London), Dr Rob Jones (University of Glasgow), Prof Sue Burchill (CR UK Leeds Centre), Dr Francois-Clement Bidard(Institute Curie, Paris), Dr Ged Brady CR UK Manchester), Dr Gerhardt Attard, (Institute of Cancer Research, London), Prof Paul Shiels (University of Glasgow), Prof Norman Maitland (YCR York), Dr Vera Cappelletti (National Cancer Institute, Milan), Prof Costanza Emanueli (Bristol Heart Institute), Prof Jacqui Shaw (University of Leicester), Dr Alberto Rocci (Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital), Dr Oliver Maddocks (Beatson Institute, Glasgow), Dr David Guttery(University of Leicester), Dr Keval Patel (CR UK, Cambridge)


There were 12 posters on display. This year the winning poster received an award on behalf of EBioMedicine, an Elsevier journal published in close collaboration with both Cell Press and The Lancet. The winner was presented with an award by Dr Andrea Hoogenkamp-O’Brien, publisher of EbioMedicine and given the opportunity to publish an Open Access article with the journal free of charge.

Who attended this Event?

  • Researchers and group heads working with circulating DNA, RNA, exosomes, or cell biomarkers
  • Translational Medicine Researchers
  • NHS & Private Labs, Pharma, Biotech, Universities, CRO’s, Service Providers

…and others interested in the latest developments in:

  • Biomarkers Application in Drug Development
  • microRNA, cfDNA as Emerging Biomarkers
  • Circulating Tumor Cells as a Window on Tumor Biology
  • The Latest Oncology Diagnostics
  • Informatics in Personalized Medicine
  • Application of Genetics/Genomics in the Clinic
  • Liquid Biopsies for Inherited Diseases
  • Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing



OPENING SESSION CHAIRED BY: Professor Nicol Keith, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow

08.30 – 10.00: Registration, Coffee & Networking
10.00 – 10.30: OPENING – Prof Jeff Evans, Director of the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow Cancer Research in Glasgow – Biomarkers and More
10.30 – 11.00: Dr Ed Quazi – Networking and Collaborations Workshop
11.00 – 11.30: Prof Paul Shiels, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow Defining biomarkers of ageing in man and their use in evaluating health span
11.30 – 12.00: Dr Zdenko Herceg, Head, Section of Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon Identifying DNA methylation biomarkers in biological fluids for cancer early detection and high-risk monitoring
12.00 – 12.30: TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION by Dr Vipulkumar Patel, Analytik Jena Novel technology for enrichment of circulating cell free DNA from cell free body fluids or cell culture supernatant and subsequent DNA sizing
12.30 – 13.30: Lunch, Exhibition & Networking


13.30 – 14.00: Prof Sue Burchill, Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, Cancer Research UK Leeds Centre RNAs as prognostic and predictive biomarkers in neuroblastoma
14.00 – 14.30: Dr Vera Cappelletti, Experimental Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy Molecular Characterization of CTCs: steps towards clinical validity
14.30 – 15.00: TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION by Dr Francesca Fontana, Silicon Biosystems A longitudinal study in breast cancer patients to assess the genetic heterogeneity of Circulating Tumor Cells
15.00 – 15.30: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
15.30 – 16.00: Prof Costanza Emanueli, Bristol Heart Institute, Bristol Circulating exosomes as new myocardial injury biomarkers?
16.00 – 16.30: Dr Rob Jones, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow Circulating Biomarkers – what use are they, doc?
16.30 – 17.30: PANEL DEBATE: CTCs vs. cfDNA vs. miRNA vs. mRNA: which is better and why? Jacqui Shaw, Sue Burchill, Charles Coombes, Ged Brady and Zdenko Herceg hosted by Eric Schuur
18.30: Complimentary Drinks Reception at City Chambers hosted by the Lord Provost of Glasgow
20.00: Networking Dinner at Oran Mor (by prior booking only)



09.00 – 09.30: Dr Oliver Maddocks, Beatson Institute, Glasgow The emerging potential of metabolomic biomarkers in cancer
09.30 – 10.00: Dr Francois-Clement Bidard, Institute Curie, Paris CTC in breast cancer: what have we learned
10.00 – 10.30: TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION by Dr Malcolm Plant, Agena Bioscience Targeted biomarker detection with the Agena MassARRAY
10.30 – 11.00: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
11.00 – 11.30: Prof Charles Coombes, Medical Oncology, Imperial College London Ct DNA for Estrogen Receptor Gene Mutations: Clinical Utility in Patients with Breast Cancer
11.30 – 12.00: Dr Ged Brady, Cancer Research UK, Manchester CTCs vs. cfDNA biomarkers as cancer circulating biomarkers
12.00 – 12.30: >Dr David Guttery, Cancer Studies, University of Leicester Cell-free DNA as a mirror of CTC heterogeneity in metastatic breast cancer
12.30 – 13.30: Lunch, Exhibition & Networking


13.30 – 14.00: Dr Gerhardt Attard, Institute of Cancer Research, London Leveraging circulating DNA studies to identify mechanisms of resistance to CYP17A1 inhibition
14.00 – 14.30: Dr Keval Patel, CR UK, Cambridge Circulating Tumour DNA as a Diagnostic Aid in Urological Cancers
14.30 – 15.00: Prof Jacqui Shaw, Translational Cancer Genetics, University of Leicester Update from the ECMC and NCRI Biomarkers & Imaging Clinical Studies Group Cell-free DNA Consensus Meeting
15.00 – 15.30: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
15.30 – 16.00: Dr Alberto Rocci, Clinical Haematology, Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital Circulating microRNAs as a novel prognostic marker in patients with multiple myeloma
16.00 – 16.40: Prof Norman Maitland, YCR Cancer Research Unit, York Circulating biomarkers as a biosampling tool for human prostate cancers: have they provided new information or do tell us more about what we know already? CLOSING OF MEETING SUMMARY

* PLEASE NOTE: The agenda may be subject to change


Silicon BiosystemsSilicon Biosystems, with offices in Bologna Italy and San Diego CA has developed an instrument platform for cell and molecular biology which can sort, manipulate, and collect individual or groups of rare cells. Using a proprietary electronic chip-based microfluidic cartridge and microscopic image analysis the DEPArray™ system can recover as little as one single cell from a suspension of tens of thousands of cells with 100% purity, allowing downstream molecular analyses such as whole genome amplification and sequencing. The technology has application in the molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells, tumor infiltrating cells, stem cells, FFPE and circulating fetal cells.


Analytik JenaAnalytik Jena (Business Unit Life Science) offers products for homogenization, liquid handling, standard and quantitative PCR, and manual and fully automated nucleic acid extraction. The novel patent pending polymer mediated enrichment (PME) technology can enrich circulating free DNA from body fluids such as serum, plasma and urine. A polymer captures the cfDNA and then subsequent purification allows enrichment of cfDNA from the sample in approximately 30-60 minutes. To learn more about PME technology, please visit the seminar presented by Dr Vipulkumar Patel, Analytik Jena (Novel technology for enrichment of circulating cell free DNA from cell free body fluids or cell culture supernatant and subsequent DNA sizing) on Day 1 (30th September) at 12.00 – 12:30. Analytik Jena Life Science products are now available through Ultra-Violet Products Ltd (An Analytik Jena Company), in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.


Abcam LogoAbcam plc is a global leader in the supply of life science research tools, with a wide range of products and expert technical support, enabling scientists to analyse living cells at the molecular level and improving the understanding of health and disease. Abcam is committed to providing scientists with an extensive choice of reagents and tools, with the most comprehensive, honest and up-to-date datasheets and customer reviews, fast delivery and helpful customer service & technical support. The Company’s catalogue evolves with scientific research trends and is growing each year to provide customers with products to meet their research needs. The range now includes primary and secondary antibodies, proteins, peptides, lysates, biochemicals, immunoassays and other kits. Abcam also supports its customers by hosting a range of global scientific events, forums and webinars, providing opportunities for scientists to get together and present their work. To find out more about these events, please visit http://www.abcam.com/index.html?pageconfig=tradeshow Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, Abcam has nine global subsidiary offices enabling local services, multi-language support and next-day delivery in over 100 countries. The Company was founded in 1998, and now employs over 800 people. To find out more, please visit www.abcam.com


Cambridge BioscienceCambridge Bioscience is a leading distributor of life science products with a passion for bringing new and exciting technologies to researchers. Working with over 50 specialist suppliers around the world, we offer an innovative, extensive and diverse range of high quality products, services and instruments supporting research in the areas of next-generation sequencing, exosomes, molecular biology, epigenetics, cell culture, cell analysis and much more. Cambridge Bioscience – A Great Choice For Life Science Research.


ScreenCell logoScreenCell, headquartered in Paris, France is a privately held company dedicated to provide products, protocols and training support for cancer research facilities to characterize Circulating Tumor Cells and other rare cells in biological specimens. ScreenCell was set-up with the belief that just enumerating CTC without easily characterising them, was not enough to allow the early detection of disease, the discovery of biomarkers to predict treatment responses and potentially follow up the disease progression. ScreenCell devices were designed compatible with existing In vitro Diagnostics (IVD) assays and platforms, enabling the effective isolation of fixed or healthy live tumour cells, thus allowing enumeration and cytomorphology evaluation as well as cell culture and molecular biology.


LOGO_promegaWith a portfolio of more than 3,000 products covering the fields of genomics, protein analysis and expression, cellular analysis, drug discovery and genetic identity, Promega is a global leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to life scientists in academic, industrial and government settings. Promega products are used by life scientists who are asking fundamental questions about biological processes as well as by scientists who are applying scientific knowledge to diagnose and treat diseases, discover new therapeutics, and use genetics and DNA testing for human identification. Promega holds significant intellectual property rights and licenses in several key areas that form a foundation for its diverse portfolio including: – Bioluminescence, including engineered luciferases, luciferase reporter vectors and luciferase substrates – Short tandem repeat (STR) detection for STR-based cell line authentication, human identification, cell and tissue characterisation, and mixed sample detection – HaloTag® protein labelling and capture technologyPromega supports customers through providing the highest quality products, the best possible customer service, unsurpassed technical support, and many tools and resources for scientists are available online and on several mobile platforms. Originally, founded in 1978 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, Promega has branches in 16 countries and more than 50 global distributors serving 100 countries. A cornerstone of Promega business practice is supporting customers, community and employees. Please visit our website: www.promega.com


Agena LogoAgena Bioscience GmbH designs, develops, manufactures and markets innovative technology, instrumentation and tests that target and serve discovery and clinical research, and clinical molecular diagnostics markets. Applications include translational research, oncology and in vitro diagnostics for prenatal and retinal disorders. Agena´s MassARRAY® technology is ideally suited for rapidly validating new genetic discoveries and translating them into innovative and cost effective genetic tests. The technology supports the analysis of multiple biomarkers and is applied by the leading genome centers worldwide.


Elsevier - BioMedicineEBioMedicine, supported by Cell Press and The Lancet is the newly launched OA journal, that aims to be the central forum for both clinicians and basic researchers. It is the journal where clinicians and scientists in both the clinic and the laboratory can communicate their observations, ideas, and research insights—and work together to address major biomedical health challenges. With translational research at the core, the scope of the journal is inherently bidirectional and far reaching. Our professional editors work hard with our authors and both the Cell Press and The Lancet editorial teams to deliver a high quality, fast publication. We can publish your article online 48 hours after acceptance.

A big thank you to the CRUK Beatson Institute for their kind hospitality!


Robertson Trust Lecture Theatre

CRUK Beatson Institute

Garscube Estate Switchback Road Bearsden (Glasgow) G61 1BD Tel: 44(0) 141 330 3953


Travelling by Taxi

There are taxi ranks at Central Station and Queen Street Station, in Glasgow City Centre. The cost is approximately £10.00 – £12.00 and the journey time 20 – 30 minutes. A taxi from Glasgow Airport costs £20.00 – £25.00 and the journey time is 20 – 30 minutes. Ask the driver to take you to the “Beatson Institute on Switchback Road, Bearsden”. Signposts clearly mark the BICR and neighbouring WWCRC buildings.

Bus service 15: Glasgow City Centre – Milngavie

The bus from the City Centre to Switchback Road, Bearsden is the No 15 (signed Milngavie). This bus goes along Great Western Road, with stops for the University of Glasgow. It runs at 60 minute intervals and the journey time is about 30 minutes from the City Centre, 20 minutes from Great Western Road. Bus times can be found from the Google Map below. The return fare is £3.55. Most drivers will alert you to the ‘Farm Gate, Garscube Estate’ bus stop if you request this when you get on. Cross the main road (dual carriageway) and follow signs (see map). The 6B (First Bus) also runs as a morning and evening service only. Please visit: http://www.travelinescotland.com for journey planning.

Travelling by train from Edinburgh:

ScotRail operates regular service from Edinburgh Waverley Station towards Milngavie. Westerton Station – along this line – is the closest station to the Beatson Insitute. Westerton is only around 1 mile away from the venue.


if you are driving to the venue, the Garscube Campus offers plenty of parking spaces including an overflow car park.




Located 8 miles west of the centre of Glasgow near the towns of Paisley and Renfrew, this is the city’s principal airport, and the main direct long haul and transatlantic entry airport into Scotland. There are regular scheduled UK and European flights, including low cost airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair and Flybe.

The frequent Glasgow Shuttle bus departs from outside the terminal building to the city centre, dropping off near both main railway stations (£5.00 single, £7.00 day return, £8 open return).

Less frequent, but cheaper is First route AirLink 747. This service operates from the airport to the city centre via Renfrew, Braehead, Partick, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Charing Cross, which means you can get off in the West End, close to the University of Glasgow. The return fare is £5.00. Visit the First Bus website for details.From the West End the best way to reach the Beatson Institute is by taxi (just 3 miles away)


This is about 50 km south west of Glasgow on the Ayrshire coast, is the city’s secondary airport and a major hub for Ryanair. Ryanair flies into Prestwick predominantly from Dublin, a variety of Mediterranean resorts (mostly seasonal), Derry and Paris (Beauvais), in addition to some useful routes from various destinations in Eastern Europe.

The airport has its own railway station, with two trains per hour to Glasgow Central (show your flight paperwork to get a £3.55 half price ticket; the journey takes around 45min). All trains from Ayr call at the airport. The A77/M77 roads run directly from Prestwick into the centre of Glasgow if you intend to drive. The X77 bus also runs from the airport to Buchanan Bus Station throughout the day, and crucially covers the times (early morning and late evening) when the trains are not running.


Glasgow is easily accessible from Edinburgh airport since the aiport is on the western edge of the city, approximately 60km away and about an hour drive via the M8 motorway. Both Ryanair and Easyjet have a number of European routes that are not available from either Glasgow International or Prestwick. Citylink operate a direct bus service from the airport to Buchanan Bus Station (in the centre of Glasgow) approximately every 30 minutes during the day. There are also buses and a tram line that connect the airport to Edinburgh Haymarket railway station. From Haymarket there are frequent direct trains to Glasgow.


Glasgow has two main line railway stations. Trains from the south of Scotland, the city’s southern suburbs and all long distance trains from England arrive at Central Station (officially known as Glasgow Central), while shuttle trains from Edinburgh and anywhere north of Glasgow arrive at Queen Street Station. Both stations are divided into a “High Level” (for main line inter-city services) and a subterranean “Low Level” (for local suburban services) – you will see this distinction being mentioned in timetables.

Please click on the pink button below to find out more information about travelling to Glasgow:


Driving to the Beatson Institute of Cancer Research

From Glasgow Airport

Follow M8 towards Glasgow. Take exit to Clyde tunnel, and continue straight ahead on leaving tunnel, through 3 sets of traffic lights until you come to Anniesland Cross (major 5-way intersection). Continue straight across following signs for Aberfoyle, Bearsden and Milngavie. Keep on this road for about 1 mile (1.75km), passing over the canal and under the railway bridge, curving to the left through double set of traffic lights. The entrance to Garscube Estate is on the right at the next set of traffic lights.

From South on M8

Drive West on M8 and exit left at junction #17 (A82, Dumbarton), turn right over the M8, following signs to Dumbarton. This takes you on to Great Western Road which you should follow for about 2.5 miles (4km), passing the Botanic Gardens on the right (traffic lights; intersection with Byres Road and Queen Margaret Drive) after 1 mile (1.5km), and becoming dual carriageway after about 2 miles (3km).

After about half a mile (1km), the dual carriageway passes under a railway bridge; bear right at the next major junction (200 metres) to Bearsden (signed to Aberfoyle, Bearsden and Milngavie). Keep on this road for about 1 mile (1.75km), passing over the canal and under the railway bridge, curving to the left through double set of traffic lights. The entrance to Garscube Estate is on the right at the next set of traffic lights.

On entering the Estate there is a security building and barriers controlling vehicle entry. Visitors should stop here and details (name, car registration, etc) will be checked. You may then proceed through the barrier, turn left and follow the road round to the right to the car park. The Reception for the BICR or the WWCRC is on the left as you drive in. If you can not find a space to park at the front of the building, there are additional spaces at the back.

Circulating Biomarkers 2015

Conference: 30th September – 1st October

Beatson Institute of Cancer Research Bearsden, Glasgow

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October 12, 2015
October 13, 2015

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