Systems biology and clinical cytomics: The 10th Leipziger workshop and the 3rd international workshop on slide-based cytometry



Despite very significant technical and software improvements in flow cytometry (FCM) since the 1980's, the demand for a cytometric technology combining both quantitative cell analysis and morphological documentation in Cytomics became evident. Improvements in microtechnology and computing permit nowadays similar quantitative and stoichiometric single cell-based high-throughput analyses by microscopic instruments, like Slide-Based Cytometry (SBC). SBC and related techniques offer unique tools to perform complex immunophenotyping, thereby enabling diagnostic procedures during early disease stages. Multicolor or polychromatic analysis of cells by SBC is of special importance not only as a cytomics technology platform but also because of low quantities of required reagents and biological material. The exact knowledge of the location of each cell on the slide permits repetitive restaining and reanalysis of specimens. Various separate measurements of the same specimen can be ultimately fused to one database increasing the information obtained per cell. Relocation and optical evaluation of cells as typical SBC feature, can be of integral importance for cytometric analysis, since artifacts can be excluded and morphology of measured cells can be documented.

Progress in cell analytic: In the SBC, new horizons can be opened by the new techniques of structural and functional analysis with the high resolution from intracellular and membrane (confocal microscopy, nanoscopy, total internal fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM), and tissue level (tissomics), to organ and organism level (in vivo cytometry, optical whole body imaging).

Predictive medicine aims at the detection of changes in patient's state prior to the manifestation of the disease or the complication. Such instances concern immune consequences of surgeries or noninfectious posttraumatic shock in intensive care patients or the pretherapeutic identification of high risk patients in cancer cytostatic therapy. Preventive anti-infectious or anti-shock therapy as well as curative chemotherapy in combination with stem cell transplantation may provide better survival chances for patient at concomitant cost containment. Predictive medicine-guided optimization of therapy could lead to individualized medicine that gives significant therapeutic effect and may lower or abrogate potential therapeutic side effects.

The 10th Leipziger Workshop combined with the 3rd International Workshop on SBC aimed to offer new methods in Image- and Slide-Based Cytometry for solutions in clinical research. It moved towards practical applications in the clinics and the clinical laboratory. This development will be continued in 2006 at the upcoming Leipziger Workshop and the International Workshop on Slide-Based Cytometry. © 2005 International Society for Analytical Cytology