Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

Top scientists at fully digital CCBIO Symposium

A broad range of renowned international cancer scientists give talks at this year's CCBIO Annual Symposium, which for the very first time is held as an online event.

Screenshot collage from Zoom, with speakers.

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More than 300 participants in an international mix are participating at the symposium, which is held Wednesday and Thursday this week (May 19 and 20).

This year's program is broadly composed and covers various fields and perspectives within cancer research.

"We have an exceptionally good program spanning two days, featuring «big guns» in several cancer research fields," says CCBIO Director Lars A. Akslen.

He thinks the fact that the meeting is entirely digital has made it easier to secure some of the greatest names in current cancer research. Normally, the participants gather in idyllic surroundings at Solstrand Hotel outside of Bergen.

Akslen among others hightlights Bernd Bodenmiller from the University of Zürich. Bodenmiller is a pioneer in advanced tissue analysis. The new technology, also taken into use by CCBIO some years ago, allows for more complex investigations of intact tumor tissues. In 2019, Bodenmiller received the prestigious Friedrich Miescher Award for this groundbreaking work.

Hans Clevers from the University of Utrecht contributes with a talk on organoids. This is tissue material derived from patients which can be grown in laboratories and act as «representatives» for large tumors. Such analysis open up for more detailed and personalized diagnostics and treatment of cancer.

Klaus Pantel contributes with a talk on liquid biopsy, a term which he is considered to have invented. This concerns the way cells and substances from the cancer are shed before entering the bloodstream. The different markers can reveal a lot of what is going on inside the tumor, and supplement the knowledge obtained by studying small tissue samples. 

The program also includes talks on new principles in cancer therapy, for example in the fields of leukemia and ovarian cancer. 

"The program covers the spectrum from biological understanding of tumors to mapping of tumors prior to treatment, as well as new principles in cancer therapy," Akslen explains.

In addition to regular lectures and discussions, the program has also made room for "speed presentations" where young researchers present their projects in only 3 minutes.  

Click here to read more about the symposium and see the program.