BCI successes at NCRI 2016

Zoe Leech Posted in Conferences, In the Press, Publications 04 November 2016

New research coverage and poster prizes for Barts researchers


From November 6th-9th, we joined many other cancer researchers from around the UK and the world to catch up with some of the latest developments in the field and form new collaborations.

Barts Achievements

We are especially proud of PhD student Viola Walther, who received this year's BACR Hamilton Fairley young investigator award and poster prize, which recognises the best quality poster among PhD students and post-docs:

I am very happy to have received the award. In my PhD, I am interested in the origins of human colorectal adenomas and its role in tumourigenesis.

We believe that interactions between dysplastic and adjacent non-dysplastic crypts play a vital role and we aim to define the clonal dynamics and determine how they affect clonal expansion in human colonic premalignant disease.


Media coverage of Dr Yong-Jie Lu's latest research into a new prostate cancer blood test was accompanied by an NCRI poster prize for the lab's PhD student Lei Xu's poster on capturing circulating tumour cells:

The team studied blood samples from men living with prostate cancer using an innovative cell separation technology Parsortix™, developed by UK company ANGLE plc, designed to capture  circulating tumour cells (CTCs).

They found that they could isolate cells travelling from the primary tumour around the body, meaning there is potential to develop a test for patients to find out if they are at risk of secondary tumours (metastasis).

Dr Lu said:

Our research shows that the number of these specific cells in a patient’s sample is a good indicator of prostate cancer spreading. By identifying these cells, which have gained the ability to move through the body, we have found a potential new way to monitor the disease.

Key messages

This year's conference themes as chosen by the organisers were:

  • Diagnosis and therapy
  • Epidemiology and prevention
  • Healthcare delivery
  • Information, patients and the public
  • Supportive, Palliative care, Survivorship
  • Cancer cell and model systems

All of which are relevant to researchers here at BCI, the Barts Centre and Barts Hospital.

Notable take-home messages from the meeting this year included cancer evolution, especially with Dr Trevor Graham's collaborator Dr Andrea Sottoriva winning the Cancer Research UK Future Leaders Prize.

The role of a protein called APOBEC3B in particular was highlighted, with new data to show how we might avoid cancers' adaptation mechanisms and resistance to treatments.

Stem Cells, cancer prevention and patient involvement in research also stood out. With thanks to the organisers, exhibitors, delegates and venue for another successful year - please see our collated round-ups below for more detail on the sessions.

Blogposts from the conference

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.

This site uses cookies in order to function properly. By continuing to browse, you agree that we can save them on your device. Privacy Policy.