TriCon 2015 was well worth the visit to San Francisco. The combination of extensive programming in conjunction with a large exhibition makes it a must-attend event for scientist and professionals in our industry and the conference seems to grow year after year.
This year, we paid a lot of attention to the Clinical Sequencing portion of the event. In this track, we learned about the clinical utility of NGS analysis in areas such as Oncology, Non-invasive Prenatal Testing and Infectious Diseases.
A number of presenters covered the clinical relevance of leveraging circulating DNA not only for the initial diagnosis but also the ongoing monitoring of patients going through cancer therapy. This was a great validation of our view of the market as we announced a strategic partnership with Fluxion Bio in this space on the first day of TriCon.
The Golden Helix sponsored session on “Advances in Computational Cancer Genomics” was very well attended and included three, very complementary talks:
- Bioinformatics of Cancer Gene Panels – Andreas Scherer, Ph.D., Golden Helix: In the transition of NGS to a clinical setting, the cancer gene panel is leading with a clear value proposition of clinically actionable results in a simple package. I covered the bioinformatics tools and best practices to achieve the goal of a reproducible workflow for analyzing NGS gene panel data.
- Maximizing the Utility of TCGA Genomic Data – Dr. Han Liang, Ph.D., University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center: A central question for the cancer research community is how to use these genomic and proteomic data. In Dr. Liang’s talk, he introduced two useful bioinformatics tools recently developed for effectively analyzing and visualizing TCGA data: SurvNet and TCPA. He also presented a systematic evaluation of the power of diverse TCGA molecular data with or without clinical variables in predicting patient survival and discuss the potential utility of cross-tumor analysis. Finally, he focused on the medical significance and clinical relevance of expressed pseudogenes in human cancer.
- Characterization of Cancer Genomes, Sohrab Shah, Ph.D., University of British Columbia: Dr. Shah delivered an introspection into the cell dynamics within a cancer tumor. His work allows for tracking and eventually prediction of the behavior of various cancer cell populations within a tumor.
Overall, we were excited to have been at TriCon 2015 and we already look forward to Tricon 2016!