Education & Accreditation Committee

Chair: Enrique O'Connor (Spain)

Committee Members: Claudio Ortolani (Italy), Bruno Brando (Italy), Iuri Marinov (Czech Republic)

Aim: to provide recommendations for the training and education of technicians, scientists and academics involved in clinical diagnostic applications of flow cytometry(FCM).

Starting from similar international experiences in laboratory medicine, a training and education scheme has been established to provide qualifications for FCM operators at various skill levels (i.e. basic operator, advanced operator and academic diagnostic interpreter) and to keep the operators’ skills up-to-date through continuous training and seminars.

FCM operators who successfully participate in these educational schemes receive a specific certificate from ESCCA. This certificate can be used as a curricular title that has Europe-wide validity with laboratory, hospital and university institutions. Efforts are currently being made to adapt this scheme in the various European Countries.

 

Membership & Administration Committee

Chair: Jordi Petriz (Spain)

Committee Members: Alfonso Blanco (Ireland) Evgenia Konsta (Greece) 
Aim: to promote the membership of a truly European community interested in cytometry and create a network that makes the membership attractive and useful.

Although the number of members has increased significantly over the past three years, the number of clinical cytometrists working in Europe and the number and diversity of attendees at our very successful meetings means our membership could increase even more. 

 

Website & Communication Committee

Chair: Paula Fernandez (Switzerland)

Committee Members: Ulrika Johansson (Great Britain), Bijan Moshaver (The Netherlands), Dolores Perez (Spain), Alfonso Blanco (Ireland), Stefano Papa (Italy), Alexandra Fleva (Greece), Marianna Tzanoudaki (Greece)
Aim: To create and keep the ESCCA website alive and vibrant. 

The website should become a centre of information and education for flow cytometrists working in clinical or research hematology and immunology laboratories and a communication centre and discussion forum for Board members, Committee members, ESCCA members and the general public. It should provide a means for European cytometry societies to keep track of flow cytometry innovations.

Because flow cytometry is young and modern, only a modern means of communication can promote it and keep up-to-date with developments in flow cytometry through ESCCA

 

Industrial Partners Committee

Chair: Frank Preijers (The Netherlands)

Committee Members: Stefano Papa (Italy), Enrique O'Connor (Spain)

Aim: to investigate ways of achieving mutually satisfactory relationships between the Society and companies operating in the field of Applied and Clinical Cytometry through their direct or indirect involvement in the Society’s activities. 

Apart from their participation in the annual Conference and Course activities, the aim of these relationships is to investigate the companies’ interest in supporting activities such as clinical trials involving the use of their reagents and technologies, as well as the organisation of specific tutorial activities, outside the annual meeting time, for the Society’s members. This will entail some activities, such as standardisation, being handled in cooperation with another Committee. Finally, the work of this Committee will be reported continuously in the web newsletter that will be distributed to the members by e-mail.

 

Harmonisation Committee

Chair: Andy Rawstron (Great Britain)

Co-Chair: Jan Willem Gratama (The Netherlands),

Committee: formed from lead participants in individual harmonisation projects 
 
Aim: To develop working groups that identify, validate and publish consensus approaches for clinical diagnostic cytometry. 
 
The European Working Group for Clinical Cell Analysis was founded in 1996 to develop consensus in clinical cytometry and ESCCA continues this effort in the harmonisation committee. Andy has been involved in more than 15 consensus projects over the past two decades, in collaboration with several international groups including ICCS, Euroflow, EMN, and ERIC. 
The ESCCA harmonisation group identifies relevant topics by survey of the members to determine the most pressing requirements for harmonisation and validation. Based on the experience of many different consensus project, the proposed approach for subsequent harmonisation projects is as follows: 
1) Develop laboratory and clinical working groups for specific diagnostic topics
2) Survey members to identify consensus on required (for all resource settings) vs. recommended markers for diagnosis / monitoring
3) Identify positive and negative controls, preferably in normal peripheral blood, and calculate an appropriate relative signal on the control populations that can be used to specify appropriate reagents
4) Define a consensus approach and test this retrospectively if possible. Confirm the consensus after consultation with members and publish. 
5) Test the consensus approach prospectively and identify diagnostic challenges
 
The ESCCA harmonisation group has successfully completed two consensus projects so far: 
1.“The Flow Cytometric Detection of Minimal Residual Disease”. Published in collaboration with the ICCS in January 2016, Cytometry B Special Issue. Volume 90 pages 1-100. 
2.“Reproducible diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia by flow cytometry: an European Research Initiative on CLL (ERIC) & European Society for Clinical Cell Analysis (ESCCA) harmonisation project”. "The consensus document has been submitted to Clinical Cytometry and revisions have been requested. The originally submitted version can be viewed [pdflink to paper735.33 KB]. It may be possible to make minor amendments prior to re-submission so please send any comments on the paper to "andy.rawstron@ecsg.york.ac.uk".
3. "Prospective validation of flow cytometry panels for CLL diagnosis and MRD".  Many thanks to all the people who submitted responses to the survey on the type of panels that they would like to assess prospectively for CLL diagnosis and monitoring. A summary of the responses can be viewed [pdflink to survey1.3 MB] and we will update in the near future with a proposal to undertake prospective validation based on the response."