7:00 am Registration & Morning Networking Coffee

7:55 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Carl Barrett Vice President, Translational Science & Oncology, AstraZeneca

Staying Ahead of the Curve with the Rapidly Evolving Liquid Biopsy Landscape

8:00 am Accelerating Innovation through Collaboration: A Progress Update on the ctMoniTR Project by Friends of Cancer Research

  • Mark Stewart Vice President, Science Policy, Friends of Cancer Research


  • Update on recent trends in oncology drug development
  • Approaches for harmonizing ways to conduct key validation studies for ctDNA
  • Opportunities to set solid foundations for the development of ctDNA as a potential surrogate endpoint

8:30 am Introducing a New Era of Precision Oncology with Multi-Dimensional Liquid Biopsy

  • Shile Zhang Associate Director - Bioinformatics, Guardant Health


  • Combine genomic and epigenomic insights for liquid biopsy applications to provide a deeper understanding of cancer
  • Leverage epigenomic profiling to identify biomarkers that can help expand patients eligible for a novel therapy or inform therapy response

9:00 am Latest Advances on How to Incorporate Liquid Biopsy in Drug Development

  • Lucas Dennis Vice President - Franchise Development in R&D, Foundation Medicine


  • Review examples for when to add liquid or tissue comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) in clinical trials to maximize detection of biomarker-positive patients or to discover new biomarkers
  • Review the latest data on the ability of a robust ctDNA test to identify challenging fusions and other complex biomarkers for patient enrollment
  • Explore approaches for integrating serial ctDNA testing to gather early treatment response insights

9:30 am Panel Discussion: Moving the Dial Toward Greater Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity (ED&I) in Precision Oncology Clinical Research; a Focus on Clinical Trials Incorporating Liquid Biopsies

  • Stacey Adam Associate Vice President - Research Partnerships, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
  • Yu Liang Director - Clinical Biomarker, Compugen
  • Pashtoon Kasi Assistant Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Jennifer Skenfield Director - Clinical Operations, Oncology & Early Development, Gilead
  • Marielena Mata Free Agent, Formerly at Pfizer, Pfizer


  • Shaping the importance of improving ED&I within clinical studies to optimize clinical care and innovation
  • Discussing contributions towards racial and ethnic disparities in clinical trials where liquid biopsies are used as novel tools in precision oncology
  • Catalyzing new guidelines to deliver on the promise of improving integrity, safety and rigor of global clinical trials

10:00 am Illumina’s new vision for MRD testing is taking shape


  • Insights on the broad and dynamic MRD landscape
  • Introducing a disruptive approach to MRD detection and testing
  • Illumina’s strategic partnering and global distribution IVD strategy deliver future-proof solutions for Pharm

10:30 am
Morning Break & Speed Networking

Track A: Early Translation

Chair: Michael Damore,
Director, Translational Oncology Lead, Pfizer

Elevating Liquid Biopsy as a Biomarker- Driven Tool for Early Detection

11:30 am Uncovering Novel Urine-Enriched Liquid Biopsy Biomarkers to Detect Prostate Cancer

  • Ranjan J. Perera Director RNA Centre, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


  • Identifying and validating the presence of ≥1 of three RNA markers in urine as potential candidate biomarkers for PCa detection

a) Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domain 3 (TTC3)

b) H4 Clustered Histone 5 (H4C5)

c) epithelial cellular adhesion molecule (EpCAM)

  • Elucidating the levels of the markers, focusing on the levels post-prostatectomy in men

12:00 pm Panel Discussion: Integrating Liquid Biopsy into Clinical Development Through Concurrent Tissue & Longitudinal Testing


  • Introduction in Tempus’ offerings including the 523 gene xF+ panel
  • Pharma perspective on integrating liquid biopsy into clinical development
  • Benefits of using concurrent solid tissue / liquid testing and longitudinal liquid testing in the clinic

Panelists to be confirmed

12:30 pm Panel Discussion: Reshaping the Bioinformatic Pipelines in Early Translation for Enhanced Therapeutic Efficacy of Liquid Biopsy Approaches

  • Sunanatha Setharuman Principal Scientist - Clinical Bioinformatics, Repare Therapeutics
  • Jadwiga Bienkowska Senior Director & Head of Computational Biology & Oncology Research, Pfizer
  • Shrividya Iyer Executive Director - Oncology Global Real World Evidence, Health Economics & Outcomes Research, Eisai
  • Yu Liang Director - Clinical Biomarker, Compugen


  • Discussing the opportunities and challenges of bioinformatics to demonstrate analytical validity
  • Evaluating the prediction of disease diagnosis, detection and monitoring of liquid biopsy using novel bioinformatic techniques
  • Accelerating the discovery of novel oncology targets using advanced bioinformatic pipelines incorporating real-life data and real-world evidence (RWE)
  • Developing advanced computational models to improve and validate results from liquid biopsies by utilizing real data and RWE

1:00 pm Emerging Solutions for Non-Invasive Cancer Monitoring


  • Discussing the current state, advantages, and limitations of non-invasive liquid biopsies in oncology
  • Introducing Blocker Displacement Amplification (BDA), a rare allele enrichment technology with the potential to improve mutation detection from liquid biopsy
  • Highlighting research applications of BDA in non-invasive longitudinal monitoring

Track B: Clinical Development & Commercialization

Chair: Alessandra Cessano,
Chief Medical Officer, ESSA Pharma

Defining Early Phase Clinical Considerations for Better Decision Making

11:30 am Next Generation Liquid Biopsies: Exosomes in Cancer Diagnostic Applications

  • Johan Skog Chief Scientific Officer & Vice President, ExosomeDx, a Bio-Techne Brand


  • Exosomes are abundant and stable packages of biomarkers (RNA, DNA and proteins) that enable clinical diagnostics
  • Exosomes provide patient selection and stratification, target engagement, disease progression and more insights with a liquid biopsy sample
  • Exosome based diagnostics, like the ExoDx™ Prostate Test, are used every day to help physicians and patients make informed decisions

12:00 pm Utilizing Liquid Biopsy as a Tool for Informing Decision Making in Early Phase Drug Development; What are we Missing?

  • JD Schonhoft Senior Principal Scientist - Translational Medicine, Repare Therapeutics


  • Understanding the factors missing to enable the use of liquid biopsy for DNA damage repair
  • Revealing the decision-making processes in early phase trials with real-time ctDNA measurements
  • Addressing the shortcomings of current existing technology
  • Evaluating industry needs going forward for more efficient drug development

12:30 pm ctMoniTR – from the Perspective of the Independent Analysis Center


  • Discuss CRAB’s role as the Independent Analysis Center for Friends of Cancer Research ctMoniTR Project
  • Highlight results from Step 1 and plans for Step 2

12:40 pm VIRTUAL: Integration of Liquid Biopsies in EGFR-wild type NSCLC Clinical Trials of Plinabulin in Combination with Standard-Of-Care

  • June Lu Sr. Director, BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals Inc.


  • Harnessing anti-cancer and anti-neutropenia benefits of Plinabulin, an unconventional tubulin-binding agent
  • Elucidating how Plinabulin drives rapid changes to peripheral blood cell counts and phenotypes
  • Unravelling how standard liquid biopsies allow for “realtime” monitoring of plinabulin activity and potential patient enrichment

1:10 pm Expediting Global Therapeutic Development with Comprehensive Precision Oncology Diagnostics

  • Taylor Jensen Vice President, Head of Oncology Science, LabCorp


  • Utilizing liquid biopsy alone or in conjunction with tissue-based genomic testing to empower clinical trial optimization
  • Improving the accuracy of somatic variant identification in liquid biopsy testing through the use of paired blood cell sequencing
  • Accelerating the identification of early signs of efficacy using liquid biopsy technologies to measure response to therapeutic intervention
  • The role of comprehensive genomic profiling in providing greater access to treatment options for patients

1:30 pm
Networking Lunch

Track A: Early Translation

Utilizing Liquid Biopsy to Monitor Disease Progression & Relapse

2:30 pm Leveraging the Utilization of Liquid Biopsy in CNS Tumors to Measure Circulating Tumor Biomarkers

  • Kirk Tanner CSO and SVP Brain Tumor Investment Fund, National Brain Tumor Society


  • Summarising the landscape of liquid biopsy in CNS tumors
  • Highlighting the challenges and opportunities of integrating liquid biopsy in brain tumors due to the blood-brain barrier
  • Elevating the use of liquid biopsy for monitoring tumor progression and response to therapies

3:00 pm Detecting Relapse using Junction Based ctDNA Assays in High Copy Number Endometrial Cancer


  • Recognizing the potential of using junctions to design individualized ctDNA assay to interrogate the blood for the presence of ctDNA
  • Addressing the role of junction based ctDNA assays for the detection and monitoring of endometrial cancer recurrence and progression
  • Understanding the critical importance of developing robust junction based ctDNA assays to identify patients with MRD prior to clinical recurrence

Track B: Clinical Development & Commercialization

Enabling Successful Future of Liquid Biopsy-Driven Clinical Trials with Lessons Learned

2:30 pm Understanding the Promises, Implementation Issues & Future Challenges for Liquid Biopsy Clinical Applications


  • Discussing the advances in the detection and characterization of ctDNA
  • Understanding how those advancements have enabled the introduction of liquid biopsy assays into clinical practice, currently as companion diagnostics matched to specific molecularly targeted therapies for advanced solid tumors
  • Discussing key issues and gaps in technology, clinical trial methodologies and logistics behind the eventual extension of liquid biopsy clinical applications as a tool for a real-time assessment and management of tumour evolution

3:00 pm Cancer Treatment Guidance: Translational Biology of a Blood-Based Proteomic Test


  • Proteomic profiling can reveal more about disease and immune status than genomic profiling alone, but it has not always been possible to identify the specific proteins that drive AI classification algorithms
  • The combination of top-down proteomics and DeepMALDI spectrometry enables the identification of the proteoforms driving classification decisions
  • The proteins assayed by the proteomic test have individual prognostic value for oncology/immune-oncology outcomes and the test can be used to identify patients for immunotherapy

3:30 pm
Afternoon Networking Break

Track A: Early Translation

Expanding the Use of Liquid Biopsy to Monitor Tumor Resistance & Response to Therapy

4:00 pm Elucidating Genomic Mechanisms of Acquired Resistance to Targeted Therapy Using Liquid Biopsy

  • Jean-Francois Martini Senior Director - Translational Oncology Lead Global Product Development Translational Oncology, Pfizer


  • Using liquid biopsy as a tool to overcome the challenge of collecting tumor tissue biopsy at time of progression
  • Comparing the end of treatment to baseline liquid biopsy to allow for the identification of potential mechanisms of resistance in a significant fraction of patients
  • Touching on the mechanisms of resistance, such as epithelial- mesenchymal transition, that cannot be addressed by liquid biopsy

4:30 pm Evaluating ctDNA as a Biomarker of Response to Therapy

  • Carl Morrison Professor Director & Senior Vice President - Molecular Pathology, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center


  • Measuring the sensitivity requirements of ctDNA for response to therapy
  • Propelling novel NGS approaches beyond depth of sequencing to increasing sensitivity of ctDNA
  • measurement
  • Detecting ctDNA in carcinoma in-situ and Stage I cancer patients

5:00 pm Panel Discussion: Closing the Gaps in Using Liquid Biopsy for MRD Testing in Precision Oncology

  • Mark Gardner Senior Vice President - Genomic Medicine and Oncology, Quest Diagnostics
  • Trevor Page Senior Vice President & General Manager, Grail
  • Ranjan J. Perera Director RNA Centre, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • George Vasmatzis Co-Director - Biomarker Discovery Program, Mayo Clinic
  • Carl Barrett Vice President, Translational Science & Oncology, AstraZeneca


  • Addressing new topics in the MRD space, focusing on the importance of MRD dynamics and prediction of relapse
  • Comparing and contrasting MRD assessment methods highlighting availability, applicability, sensitivity, standardization and limitations
  • Supporting the use of MRD as a surrogate endpoint for early translational strategic implementations

Track B: Clinical Development & Commercialization

Orchestrating Liquid Biopsy to be a Highly Efficacious Companion Diagnostic

4:00 pm Identifying High-Risk Populations in Early-Stage Cancers Using ctDNA MRD


  • Implications of Nature Medicine publication from January 2023, demonstrating how ctDNA can predict adjuvant chemotherapy benefit in a prospective study of >1,000 patients with colorectal cancer
  • How ctDNA MRD how can identify patients at high risk of relapse on standard of care therapy, who may be ideal candidates for enrollment into clinical trials
  • How ctDNA dynamics can predict response within weeks of beginning treatment to accelerate clinical development

4:30 pm Using Liquid Biopsy for Advanced NSCLC with High Blood-based Tumor


  • Understanding the significance of blood-based in the context of liquid biopsies tumour mutational burden (bTMB)
  • Visiting the outcomes of the phase 3 study evaluating bTMB as a biomarker of atezolizumab efficacy
  • Sharing lessons learned

5:00 pm Describing a Retrospective Approach: Liquid Biopsy CDx Development & Submission for HER2-mut NSCLC

  • Zhenhao Qi Director, Global Companion Diagnostics Lead Global Companion Diagnostics Global Oncology R&D, Daiichi Sankyo


  • Elucidating how liquid biopsy tests allow NSCLC patients access to HER2 mutation results who otherwise would not be tested
  • Describing the validation study design of Guardant360 CDx test in detection of HER2 mutation in plasma obtained from patients with NSCLC
  • Raising challenges and solutions in retrospective CDx development

5:30 pm End of Conference Day One

5:40 pm Drinks Reception Hosted by Guardant Health

7:00 pm Beyond MRD – what does the field need from liquid biopsy?


  • Representatives from across the field of precision medicine discuss the state of liquid biopsy, with a focus on emerging technologies and key challenges
  • In depth Q&A will facilitate a rich discussion with engagement of attendees with panelists
  • Dinner and networking opportunities will be provided