In March, the second annual SELECTBIO Circulating Biomarkers World Congress 2015 brought together academic researchers and industry participants to present research, industry and commercial activities in the translation of circulating biomarkers.
Speakers presented unpublished data on extracellular vesicles and extracellular nucleic acids as circulating biomarkers, fitting into three overarching themes:
• Circulating DNA, RNA and tumor cells
• Exosomes and microvesicles
• Sample preparation and analysis
Most presentations focused on the importance of circulating cells, specifically tumor cells as the key to understanding the biology of diseases such as cancer, as they provide potential to guide treatment decisions, assess burden and monitor progression. (Need of upcoming improvements in isolation technology.) This conference solidified the importance of this emerging field of non-invasive liquid biopsies, whether it’s via blood, saliva or other body fluids. Specifically, it was great to hear researcher David Wong from the University of California Los Angeles discuss saliva-based exosomes for liquid biopsies as a noninvasive biofluid, and Xandra Breakefield, a geneticist from Massachusetts General Hospital, provide an overview on extracellular RNA in biofluids as biomarkers of disease.
QIAGEN’s own scientist, Alexander Wolf, presented during the technology spotlight portion of the event. His presentation focused on the purification of circulating cell-free DNA from plasma using specific technological advancements. The technology can process high sample volumes, extracting quantitative DNA with a low elution volume and a throughput of 96 samples per run. Therefore, blood samples can be processed in 1-2 hours.
Overall, we had a wonderful time at the SELECTBIO Circulating Biomarkers World Congress 2015, and look forward to next year’s gathering.
For more information on the SELECTBIO Circulating Biomarkers World Congress 2015 visit: http://selectbiosciences.com/conferences/index.aspx?conf=CBWC2015