WEBINAR: A technology review of CTC harvesting methods – what are the differences and why does it matter?

27th January 2021 @ 7pm GMT

by Professor Christopher N. Parris and Dr Nick Plowman

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  • Professor Chris Parris will provide an overview of the different methods of CTC identification and capture and provide insights into the reliability of these methods for cancer diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • Dr Nick Plowman will join the panel Q&A session after Professor Chris Parris main presentation.


Professor Chris Parris has significant experience in experimental cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. Professor Chris Parris began his academic career at Nottingham University in 1983 when he studied and completed a degree in BSc honours Biology. Chris then trained as a Biomedical Scientist in histopathology and cytology and briefly worked in the pathology laboratories at University College Hospital in London, UK. Chris enjoyed his time as a Biomedical Scientist but soon after qualifying he was able to register for a PhD in 1985 at University College London and in 1989 was awarded his PhD in Cancer Cell biology. Directly thereafter, Chris pursued his career in the United States of America and completed successful post-doctoral appointments at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland and at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. After seven years working in the USA, Chris returned to the UK and became an academic at Brunel University in West London where he developed his academic career and furthered his research in human DNA repair mechanisms. In 2017, Chris moved to Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, where he is Head of School of Life Sciences. Chris has significant experience in experimental cancer therapeutics and diagnostics and most recently, Chris and his research team have been developing novel methods for the identification and enumeration of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) using the highly innovative method of imaging flow cytometry. During this webinar, Chris will provide an overview of the different methods of CTC identification and capture and provide insights into the reliability of these methods for cancer diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.


Senior Clinical Oncologist to St Bartholomew’s Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street. Dr P N Plowman qualified from Cambridge University with a double first in medical sciences and natural sciences and has been a consultant oncologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children in London for thirty years. His research work has led to the introduction of aromatase inhibitors into breast cancer management and glucocorticoids into advanced prostate cancer management, thereby making significant advantages and changes in best standard care to these two common important cancers. Dr Plowman has forwarded the practice of modern radiotherapy (for example, in children) and will shortly be part of a team introducing Linac-based proton beam radiotherapy into clinical practice. The introduction of lower cost Linacbased proton beam therapy will facilitate more widespread adoption of proton beam radiotherapy and the Linac-based proton system has the capability of performing “Flash” treatments. Dr Plowman has spearheaded focal radiation techniques in this country (Gamma Knife and Cyberknife). Dr Plowman researches and writes on CTCs and EMT. In recent years Dr Plowman has made significant contribution to genomically targeted therapy of cancer and currently advises two genomics companies, including research into liquid biopsy approaches to predictive testing for genome based therapy. His laboratory research into clinical radiosensitivity syndromes has contributed to a test for such hypersensitivity (H2AX assay) and the discovery of two new syndromes (xeroderma pigmentosa Complementation group C mutation and DNA ligase 4 mutation). The manipulation of DNA repair as a therapeutic target in cancer will surely assume greater importance in the future – and PARP inhibitors in BRCA mutant tumours is testimony to this approach. Further investigation of DNA repair will have increasing relevance to cancer therapies. Within his academic hospital, Dr Plowman is a teacher of pre- and post-graduates and an educational supervisor.

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