CBS Project


CANCER blood-scan (CBS) is a research project funded by the “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation” (EPAnEK) Operational Programm with scientific officer Prof. E. Lianidou, Professor of Analytical Chemistry- Clinical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, EKPA. In the program participate Sub. Prof. A. Psyrri, Attikon Hospital, Medical School, EKPA, Prof. C. Papadimitriou, Aretaio Hospital, Medical School, EKPA, Prof. A. Stratigos, Syggros Hospital, Medical School, EKPA, Prof. S. Kakolyris, Medical School, DUTH, and the PHARMASSIST company. The total budget of the project reaches the amount of EUR 893.058 and its duration will be three years.

The aim of the CANCER blood-scan project is the development and clinical validation of innovative cancer biologic detection methodologies through liquid biopsy. A key goal of this project is to translate the results of basic research into new commercially available products, leading to the application of personalized therapy by liquid biopsy into the clinical routine. To achieve this goal, the research team gathers experts from the academic community, clinical research and the company, contributing to the development and commercialization of in-vitro diagnostic products / kits, with the aim of establishing liquid biopsy in clinical practice.


[ + ] more


ACTC 2021

5th ACTC Advances in Circulating Tumor Cells, 22-25 September 2021, Kalamata, Greece

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is really a hard time for all and I really hope that you and your beloved ones are doing well and that we will be out of this COVID-19 pandemic disaster soon. We had to spend a long time communicating remotely with each other and attending virtual meetings.

Since the vaccination program has successfully started in most countries around the world, and based on the fact that everyone working in Health Care will be soon vaccinated, we plan to have the 5th ACTC meeting “Liquid Biopsy in its best” live, but only for those that will have received COVID-19 vaccination by September 2021. We will also provide an on-site complimentary RT-qPCR highly sensitive saliva testing for all participants that are not vaccinated by September 2021. This in combination with the negative RT-qPCR test that will be required as expected in order to fly to Greece will guarantee that the meeting environment will be safe and COVID-19 free!

The 5th ACTC meeting ( will be held as initially planned in the beautiful town of Kalamata, Peloponnese Greece, on September 22nd– 25th 2021. World recognized pioneer researchers and clinical oncologists that have major contributions in the field have already confirmed their participation. A critical mass of participants from all over the world will have again the chance to interact, establish collaborations and present their latest data in a safe, relaxing and stimulating environment. During intense keynote, oral and poster presentation sessions, state of the art and mostly unpublished cutting-edge research on the latest achievements, technical advancements and the latest results of clinical trials based on liquid biopsy will be presented. Three travel grants and three poster awards will be granted to the best submitted abstracts.

Most of you know already that all previous ACTC meetings were highly attended and very successful and that a lot of fruitful collaborations were established between world class leaders in the field, top liquid biopsy clinicians, researchers, postgraduate students and technology providers from all over the world.

It is now a great pleasure to invite again all of you to come, present, discuss and share the latest information on liquid biopsy. We aim to ensure that the 5th ACTC meeting will be highly safe, highly interactive and will stimulate intensive discussions between basic researchers and clinicians as well as Diagnostics and Pharma-industry companies that are active in this exciting field. Networking, live discussions and knowledge sharing across basic researchers, clinicians and Diagnostics and Pharma-industry companies are of great importance and we expect that this event will contribute towards achieving these after all this difficult time. It is also important to mention that the meeting venue ( is right on the beach, the weather is expected to be perfect, all breakfast and lunches will be served outdoors, and the liquid biopsy technology exhibition and all poster sessions will be outdoors as well.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Kalamata, in September 2021.

Warm regards,

Evi S. Lianidou
University of Athens, Greece

Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (ACTC) Lab

Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)

Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) analysis is a promising new diagnostic field for cancer patients towards the estimation of risk for metastatic relapse or metastatic progression. In contrast to tumor biopsies, peripheral blood samples can be frequently and sequentially obtained for CTC isolation and downstream analysis. The non-invasive isolation of CTCs from peripheral blood and their further downstream molecular characterization at the protein, DNA and RNA level, could now serve as a "liquid biopsy" approach and eventually offer additional information and even more a serious advantage over the conventional and well established tumor biopsy approach. Cell free DNA (cfDNA) circulating in plasma or serum of cancer patients has also been recently proposed as an alternative to CTCs liquid biopsy approach. It has been recently shown that by using extremely powerful and highly sensitive detection techniques, the presence of specific mutations in plasma of cancer patients could give valuable information concerning response to specific molecular targeted therapies. However, there is a substantial difference between these two approaches; CTCs are viable cells, circulating in blood, and understanding their biology in a holistic way, could give valuable information on the metastatic spread, elucidate their connection to cancer stem cells, and reveal active and possible targetable signaling networks, while cfDNA can give specific information as a circulating biomarker, for the presence or absence of specific alterations indicating therapy response. 

Different analytical systems for CTCs isolation and detection have been developed most including separation steps by size or biological characteristics such as expression of epithelial or cancer-specific markers. Recent technical advancements in CTCs detection and characterization include multiplex RT-qPCR based methods, image-based approaches and microfilter and microchip devices. New areas of research are directed toward developing novel sensitive assays for CTCs molecular characterization. Quality control is an important issue for the clinical use of CTCs analysis, and standardization of micrometastatic cell detection and characterization methodologies is important for the incorporation of CTCs into prospective clinical trials testing their clinical utility. The molecular characterization of CTCs can provide important information on the molecular and biologic nature of these cells such as the status of hormone receptors, epidermal, and other growth factor receptor family members and indications of stem-cell characteristics. This is very important for the identification of therapeutic targets and resistance mechanisms in CTCs as well as for the stratification of patients and real-time monitoring of systemic therapies. 

ACTC lab main interests

Our lab is specializing on the development, analytical validation and clinical evaluation of molecular assays for the detection, enumeration and molecular characterization of CTCs.

More specifically, our  main research interests are on:

  • study of micrometastasis through the development of singleplex and multiplex quantitative real time RT-qPCR assays for the detection of CTCs,
  • development and clinical evaluation of DNA methylation assays in fresh tissues, paraffin-embedded breast carcinomas, in CTCs and in cell-free circulating DNA,
  • development and clinical evaluation of quantitative real time RT-qPCR assays for the detection of mature micro RNAs in fresh tissues, paraffin-embedded breast carcinomas and in cell-free circulating DNA,
  • development and clinical evaluation of highly sensitive assays for mutation analysis in CTCs and in cell-free circulating DNA,
  • development and clinical evaluation of multiplex assays for gene expression in CTCs based on the Luminex bead array system.

Following the great success of ISMRC 2009, ACTC 2012 and ACTC 2014, we are pleased to announce that the next ACTC meeting in Greece took successfully place in Rhodes, from 4 to 7 October 2017 (