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Circulating Biomarkers 2016

October 12, 2016 - October 13, 2016

Circulating Biomarkers 2016

Conference: 12 - 13 October

Circulating Biomarkers 2019 will be announced soon… in these pages you can find details about of a previous meeting

The 3rd annual Circulating Biomarkers 2016 conference took place in Dundee in partnership with Edinburgh-Dundee ECMC and the Abertay Bioscience Society at Abertay University. In just the last couple of years circulating biomarkers have gained traction as a cutting edge technology for drug development and medicine. EU Policy makers and grant funding bodies have been championing the desire to break the translational bottle-neck. As researchers focus more on breaking the translational bottle neck they have started to look more closely at the kinds of biomarkers which will enable this. These circulating biomarkers such as circulating DNA (ctDNA/cfDNA/cftDNA), miRNA/microRNA, circulating tumour cells & exosomes are indeed useful and we have been covering them in the last few conferences with some great data and presentations from opinion leaders in the respective areas. We have heard from researchers about how they perform their biased and unbiased discovery on these circulating biomarkers and then validate and move them into the clinic so that the blood biopsy tests can be realized.

dundee-panoramicThis year the scientific committee opened up the focus area to include other kinds of least-invasive and non-invasive biomarkers so that the conference became a gathering where bioinformaticians, discovery scientists, clinicians and engineers met up under one roof and discussed broad collaborations by applying lessons learned from one kind of biomarker to another – and hopefully facilitate the diagnostic development workflows.

Thus, this year we covered the following topics:

  • Circulating free tumour DNA
  • Circulating micro RNA
  • Circulating Tumour Cells
  • Case Study: “Biomarker to Diagnostic” Pathway
  • Fluid & Blood Biopsy Biomarkers & Examples of Translation into the Clinic
  • Non-invasive/Least-invasive biomarkers in Ascites, Hair, Saliva, Urine, CSF, Faeces etc
  • PDX – Patient Derived Xenograft models for Biomarkers

The meeting also included: A dedicated Networking Session on the morning of Day 1 to allow all delegates to get to know each other by discussing a topical subject. A Panel Debate at the end of Day 1 on “How do we break the translational bottle-neck and move circulating biomarkers into the Clinic?” A complimentary Drinks Reception hosted by the Lord Provost at City Chambers for all delegates A 3-course Networking Dinner at Malmaison (including wine) with invited speakers and paying delegates. POSTER SESSION & POSTER AWARD: There was a dedicated area for posters to be displayed with small prizes for the best posters.

Who attended this Event?
  • Researchers and group heads working with circulating biomarkers such as 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
  • Non-invasive & least-invasive Biomarkers
  • The Latest Oncology Diagnostics
  • Informatics in Personalized Medicine
  • Application of Genetics/Genomics in the Clinic
  • Liquid Biopsies for Inherited Diseases
  • Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing


DAY 1 

09.00 – 10.30: Registration, Coffee & Networking
10.30 – 11.00: Dr Ed Quazi, Welcome at Networking and Collaborations Workshop
11.00 – 11.30:  OPENING – Prof David Cameron, Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre A clinical perspective on circulating biomarkers
11.30 – 12.00: TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION by Analytik Jena
12.00 – 12.30: Prof Sue Burchill, Paediatric & Adolescent Cancer Research, University of Leeds Next generation risk stratification and adaptive treatment
12.30 – 13.30: Lunch, Exhibition & Networking AFTERNOON SESSION CHAIRED BY:  TBA
13.30 – 14.00: Prof Colin Palmer, Centre for Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics, Ninewells Hospital Longitudinal biomarkers assessment in routine clinical blood samples using the GoSHARE platform
14.00 – 14.30: Dr Rowena Sharpe, Precision Medicine, CRUK The CRUK Stratified Medicine Programme: creating a paradigm shift in targeted cancer clinical trials
15.00 – 15.30: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
15.30 – 16.00:  Prof Mark Pallen, Warwick Medical School Diagnostic Metagenomics: From sequence to consequence
16.00 – 16.30: Dr Sarah Newbury, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex Identification of circulating micro RNA biomarkers for diagnosis/prognosis of melanoma
16.30 – 17.30: PANEL DEBATE: How do we break the Translational Bottle-neck & move biomarkers into the Clinic?
18.00: Complimentary Drinks Reception at City Chambers hosted by the Lord Provost of Dundee
19.30: Networking Dinner at Malmaison



09.00 – 09.30: Prof Markus Metzler, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany Quantification of genomic fusion sites in plasma of Ewing sarcoma patients
09.30 – 10.00: Dr Clare Vesely, UCL Cancer Institute The detection of SSTR2 and 5 expression on Circulating Tumour Cells in Neuroendocrine tumours
10.00 – 10.30: Prof Angie Cox, Cancer Genetics, The Medical School, University of Sheffield Exploring a copy number genome instabilty score in circulating cell-free DNA as a cancer biomarker,
10.30 – 11.00: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
11.00 – 11.30: Prof Craig Beam, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western Michigan University, USA Circadian Pattern of Circulating Biomarkers: Timing can be important
11.30 – 12.00: Dr Rachel Butler, Cardiff & Vale Medical Trust Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) – application to clinical practice
12.00 – 12.30: Dr Dan Nelmes, Cardiff & Vale Medical Trust Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) and Lung Cancer – Clinical Applications
12.30 – 13.30: Lunch, Exhibition & Networking


13.30 – 14.00: Dr Michela Garofalo, Cancer Research UK, Manchester MicroRNAs in cancer and chemoresistance
14.00 – 14.30: Dr Alastair Droop, University of Leeds How should we analyse our results? Some thoughts on downstream analysis and interpretation
14.30 – 15.00: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
15.00 – 15.30: Dr Florent Mouliere, Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Non-invasive exploration of glioblastoma biology with circulating nucleic acids
15.30 – 16.00: Dr Gillian Smith, ECMC Dundee, Ninewells Hospital microRNAs – Novel tumour-specific predictors of disease progression and chemosensitivity in common cancers



Analytik Jena offers a range of products including a novel technology for the enrichment of circulating cell free DNA. The patent pending polymer mediated enrichment (PME) technology can enrich cfDNA from body fluids such as serum, plasma and urine. A polymer captures your cfDNA and then subsequent purification allows you to enrich cfDNA from your sample in approximately 30 min – 60 minutes.

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.



Covaris offers a broad portfolio of instruments, consumables, and reagents for sample preparation.

truSHEAR™ is the recognized gold standard for DNA and RNA fragmentation prior to NGS library preparation. Predicated on a physical process with robust but simple protocols, mechanical DNA shearing using Adaptive Focused Acoustics® (AFA®) permits the construction of NGS libraries that show no GC bias independent of sample concentration, buffer, or source. Delivering samples that present the original complexity of samples with unmatched fidelity. AFA also delivers significant benefits to the extraction of nucleic acids from difficult to work with samples. Using the same Covaris instruments as for DNA shearing, laboratories can benefit from active sample extraction using ultrasound to drive efficient sample preparation. Covaris offers the truXTRAC™ family of reagent and consumable kits for the preparation of clinical grade nucleic acids from FFPE samples, circulating cell free DNA and dried blood spot cards. Yields are improved using active extraction compared to passive diffusion limited processes, but significantly, so are sequence depth, uniformity of coverage and freedom from bias. Available in single tube, 8 well strip, and 96 well formats, Covaris Focused-ultrasonicators represent a hub of utility designed to meet the current and future needs of labs. Delivering the highest quality sample preparation with maximal information content, Covaris paves the way to whole genome-predicated analyses in the future and provides a foundation for future studies using archived samples that would be unviable if this information were otherwise lost due to inferior processing.


angleANGLE is a UK and US based medical diagnostic company. ANGLE’s Parsortix technology enables the capture and harvest of rare circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from patient blood. Genetic and protein analysis of CTCs from this ‘liquid biopsy’ has the potential to enable personalized cancer care. ANGLE is currently developing its first diagnostic product in the area of ovarian cancer.



abertay-univAbertay University Bell Street Dundee DD1 1HG Tel:  +44 (0)1382 308000   The lectures will take place on the ground floor next to the reception desk of the Main University Entrance on Bell Street.  The Exhibition, Coffees, Lunches will be held at Bar One across the road. Driving directions can be generated from Google Maps.




Abertay University is located in Dundee city centre and it’s only 10-15 minutes walk from Dundee train station. Dundee is located approximately 100 km north of Edinburgh. It is easily accessible via Air, Road and Rail. Numerous air links are available at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen Airport, each of which has excellent road and rail connections to Dundee. Below is a brief description of the main connections to Dundee, for more details please visit the Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau website.

By Air

DUNDEE AIRPORT is located only 2km from the city centre and Flybe (www.flybe.com) operates daily flights to and from Stansted Airport. Edinburgh Airport offers easy access from all the main UK and European airports and it’s around an hour drive from Dundee. From Edinburgh you can reach Dundee by direct train or bus/coach. Aberdeen Airport is located just over 100 Km from Dundee. Aberdeen is connected to Dundee by a direct train service or bus/coach. Glasgow Airport is around 1 and a 1/2 hour drive from Dundee. Glasgow has regular train and bus/coach services to Dundee. Taxis are available upon request from outside Dundee Airport and should take approximately ten minutes to arrive at the University.

By Rail

Dundee has direct connections to Newcastle, York and London, plus CrossCountry Trains services to Birmingham and the West Country of England. More frequent services run to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The ScotRail Caledonian Sleeper links Dundee directly with London Euston, offering a cost effective alternative to domestic flights. On the National Rail Website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) you can find train times and book on-line.

By Road

Dundee is served by an excellent network of roads: motorway, dual carriageway links or the more relaxing tourist trails through Angus, Fife and Perthshire. Scottish Citylink and Stagecoach both have online route planners to help you to arrange your trip. Please visit: www.stagecoachbus.com www.citylink.co.uk

Please click on the button below to visit the Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau website where you will find fully comprehensive and detailed information on airport connections, trains and bus/coach services to Dundee.



Circulating Biomarkers 2016

Conference: 12 – 13 October

Abertay University,

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October 12, 2016
October 13, 2016

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