Dear Colleagues,

It is our great pleasure to invite basic and clinical researchers interested in the field of Circulating Tumour Cells to the 1st "ACTC: Advances in Circulating Tumour Cells" meeting that will be held in Athens, Greece, on September 26th - 29th, 2012. After successfully organizing the 7th International Symposium on Minimal Residual Cancer in Athens, Greece, ( and the very positive feedback that we got from most participants we decided to organize this new meeting in Greece.

Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) present in the peripheral blood and Disseminating tumour cells (DTCs) present in bone marrow can now be detected and characterized at the single cell level. These cells are highly relevant to the study of the biology of early metastatic spread and provide a diagnostic source in patients with overt metastases. Research on CTCs present nowadays a challenge, as these cells are well defined targets for understanding tumour biology and improving cancer treatment.

The ACTC meeting is focused on CTC utilisation in clinical practice by bringing together researchers and clinicians to discuss practical implementation of CTCs and translate much of the excellent basic research in this field into clinical practice. The most prominent and established researchers in the field will present state of the art research on the biology of metastasis and on the technical advancements in the isolation, detection and molecular characterization of CTCs. Latest findings on the clinical applications of CTCs in real time monitoring of systemic anticancer therapies will be discussed. A particular emphasis will be given on the relationship of CTCs to cancer stem cells and the relevance of recent findings for the development and use of new targeted therapies in oncology. Our main objectives, is to organize a meeting where latest research will be presented by prominent and established researchers in the field and which will bring together and stimulate intense discussions between both basic and clinical researchers in the field.

We are looking forward to welcoming you and your colleagues in Athens in September 2012.

The Symposium Co-Chairs,

Evi S. Lianidou, University of Athens, Greece
Dimitris Mavroudis, University of Crete, Greece
Klaus Pantel, University of Hamburg, Germany