Recent Advances in Molecular and Cellular Pathology

Friday, 06 December 2013

This is a Euroscicon Small Conference,  an outline of the day can be found at

Recent Advances in Molecular and Cellular Pathology
Friday, 06 December 2013 09:00 - 17:00

Cineworld: The O2
Peninsula Square
SE10 0DX
United Kingdom

Map and Directions
This new conference will feature current topics presented by experts in their fields of research and practice. Placed in the context of molecular cellular pathology presentations will explore disease mechanisms, clinical advances and latest technology breakthroughs. This event has CPD accreditation.

Who Should Attend

All who need to be at the leading edge of developments in this area will find this attendance at this conference rewarding.  Accordingly, attendance is recommended to students and professionals within the diagnostic and research communities that engage with molecular aspects of cellular pathology.
The deadline for abstract submissions for oral and poster presentation has now passed.

09:00 – 09:45     Registration


09:45 – 10:00     Introduction by the Chair:  Dr Anthony (Tony) Warford, Senior Lecturer in Cellular Pathology, University of Westminster, UK  

10:00 – 10:40      Update in the molecular pathology of uveal melanoma
Professor Sarah Coupland, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Pathology, University of Liverpool, UK
Uveal Melanoma (UM), the most common primary intraocular cancer in adults, is fatal in 50% of patients, because of metastatic spread involving the liver. Chemotherapy of metastases has limited success and disseminated disease occurs in most patients <2 years of diagnosis. Clinical, histopathological and genetic risk factors for UM metastasis are documented. UM is characterised by frequent non-random gross chromosomal changes, the most common being monosomy 3, gain of 8q, loss of 1p, gain of 6p and loss of 6q. The first two chromosomal abnormalities in particular are the strongest predictors for metastasis development. The purposes of this presentations are to review: a) described genetic abnormalities of UM, and relate these to hypotheses regarding tumour development and spread; b) current methods used in UM prognostication.


10:40 – 11:20    The modification of proteins by glycosylation: the bitter-sweet tale of breast cancer metastasis.

Dr Miriam DwekReader in Biochemistry, Group Leader - Against Breast Cancer Research Unit, University of Westminster, UK
Alterations in the post-translational modification of proteins by the attachment of sugars (glycosylation) is a hallmark of both tumorigenesis and metastasis.  This relatively complex modification offers potential for development of assays and identification of targets associated with metastatic cancer. We have focussed on identification of glycosylation changes influencing the outcome of patients with breast cancer, in particular characterisation and validation of serum biomarkers and potential cell surface targets in metastatic cancer cells. The approaches taken for this, include the use of a novel cellular-biosensor to monitor the kinetics of carbohydrate protein interactions.  Recent developments that we have made in this area will be described in this presentation.

11:20 – 11:50    Speakers’ photo then mid-morning break and trade show/poster viewing


11:50 – 12.15    Developments in Nucleic Acid Extraction & Quantification
Dr Fiona Marshall, Promega, UK Recent developments in nucleic acid extraction and quantitation enable high quality genomic DNA to be purified from FFPE samples in less than two and a half hours, with minimal hands on time and without the use of hazardous solvents. Subsequent accurate quantitation of DNA concentration is critical for many applications, traditional spectrophotometric assays have a practical lower limit of detection at ~1μg/ml; however, many isolated DNA samples have concentrations well below this level. Here we'll present new dye formats allow accurate fluorescent quantitation of extracted DNA, especially of low concentration samples, in a simple add-and-read formats which simplify and speed up workflow and maximise efficiencies.

12.15 – 12.55   Lineage tracing in normal and neoplastic human tissues
Professor Malcolm Alison DSc, FRCPath: Professor of Stem Cell Biology, Centre of Tumour Biology, Barts Cancer Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
Through the ability to detect neutral mutations in mitochondrial DNA within individual cells. we have identified clones of cells  within human tissues with an ordered structure for the first time. These can be illustrated in a variety of tissues including the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, bladder and prostate. Furthermore, the origins of tumours can be inferred, including the outer root sheath for basal cell carcinomas and PIN for prostate cancer. Using this technique, we have also proven the existence  of a multipotential stem cell in neoplastic colorectal epithelia.

12.55 – 14.00    Lunch and trade show/poster viewing

14.00 – 14.25    No Antibody? No Problem.   
Mr Barry Lynch, Advanced Cell Diagnostics, Inc Because over 70% of protein-coding genes have no reliable antibody for immunohistochemistry (IHC), research can come to a screeching halt while you wait for new antibodies to be developed. Whether your target is a novel gene with no commercial antibody available, a secreted protein with poor-quality antibodies for IHC, or a non-coding RNA our universal assay workflows and rapid probe design for any gene, eliminates the hassles of antibody screening, saving you precious time and effort, while delivering publication quality data today.

14.25 – 15.05     Towards earlier diagnosis of oesophageal adenocarcinoma

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, Programme Leader, University of Cambridge, UK Survival rates in cancer are directly related to the degree of disease spread at the time of diagnosis. Oesophageal cancer is a prime example of this problem. We have developed a screening test for the pre-malignant stage called Barrett’s oesophagus. This comprises a device, CytospongeTM, coupled to a molecular marker which is a less invasive and cost-effective alternative to endoscopy. Our current work is focussing on how to effectively risk-stratify patients according to their likelihood of cancer progression and apply these to the CytospongeTM. This methodology could provide an alternative to the controversial endoscopic surveillance practices.

15.05 – 15.45    The role of digital pathology and image analysis in tissue research and companion diagnostics
Professor Peter Hamilton, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology Queen's University Belfast, PathXL Ltd, Innovation Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland
The ability to stratify patient populations into well-defined subgroups which respond to targeted therapy and have a better clinical outcome, is the basis of stratified medicine.  Drug discovery and associated clinical trials in cancer now go hand in hand with the development and validation of “companion” biomarkers.   It is increasingly evident to the Pharma, Diagnostic and academic research centres that digital pathology has an extremely important role to play in biomarker discovery, validation and in patient stratification using tissue-based markers. This talk will outline the key roles for digital pathology and image analysis in tissue-based research, drawing on experiences within the Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Laboratory, the Northern Ireland Biobank and PathXL Ltd.  Biobanks now more than ever rely on digital scanning and archiving to support their sample collections and pathological review.  The ability to store and share digital slides for remote diagnostics and biomarker scoring is a key advantage supporting multisite integration and international biomarker trials.  Digital pathology also underpins automation in pathology which has developed rapidly over the last number of years.  We have developed high performance computing solutions to speed up IHC biomarker image analysis in tissue microarrays and developed PICAN (Pathology Integromics in Cancer), a data integration platform to support convergence of biomarker, clinical pathological and genomic data for biomarker discovery.  Digital pathology and image analysis also has a role to play in molecular testing.  A collaborative research programme between PathXL and QUB has developed TissueMarkTM – a highly performant solution for automated tumour identification and for measuring % tumour cells.  Precise tumour estimation is essential for the discovery and translation of new molecular tissue markers in solid tumours.  Automation of tumour analysis will help remove the considerable bottle-necks that exist and improve the reliability and reproducibility of molecular testing in cancer.   It is evident that digital pathology and image analysis is now coming of age and is going to help fast-track new methods of drug/diagnostic development.

15:45 – 16:15        Chairman’s summing up and Close of Meeting followed by afternoon tea

Registration Website:

Keywords:  signalling, mTOR, cancer, protein kinase, therapeutic drugs, Ocular melanoma; monosomy 3; BAP1; MLPA;GEP, Barrett's oeosphagus, oesophageal adenocarcinoma, biomarkers, screening, glycosylation, glycobiology, proteomic,cancer, metastatic, Stem cells, Lineage tracing, mitochondrial DNA, Human epithelia, Tumour origins.

Meeting reports from this event will be published in The Biomedical Scientist and by HONNAO publishing (as a kindle ebook).

Contact Details

Payment Instructions

    • Payment must be received prior to the meeting

      Credit card
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