European Society for Analytical Cellular Pathology

Newsletters 1995

May 1995

Ed: Victoria von Hagen
Telephone +33/76/010271 Fax +33/76/010273
Messages +33/76/549401 E-mail


Dear members of the ESACP,

This first issue of the ESACP Newsletter gives me the opportunity to elucidate the special profile of our society and inform you about the activities I would like to initiate.

As I see it, the special features of our society are its European internationality, interdisciplinarity, methodological orientation emphasizing quantitation in human cellular pathology.

First, we, as scientists should set an example in European cooperation in science. We should be pioneers in European unification and in peaceful coexistence. We should compete, on the one hand but cooperate, on the other to combine our specific capabilities to reach a higher level of scientific quality. Since different countries have developed different methodological qualification, we can learn from each other.

Secondly the fact that pathologists, cytologists, physicists, computer scientists mathematicians, bioloaists cytogeneticists and others attend our meetings offers the unique opportunity for interdisciplinary exchanges and for catalysation of cooperation. Multicenter studies, interlaboratory exchanges and quality assurance may thus be initiated. Physicians from different disciplines may learn methodological details from physicists, molecular biologists or computer scientists. The former may formulate basic biological questions and diagnostic or prognostic questions, which may be solved together with the latter.

Thirdly, the ESACP is particularly devoted to the development and application of quantitative methods in research and routine diagnosis such as quantitative FISH and VISH, quantitative immunohisto- and cytochemistry, AgNOR quantification, quantitative interphase and metaphase cytogenetics, flow cytometric immunophenotyping, quantitative laserscan microscopy and static or flow DNA cytometry.

The Society plans to offer tutorials on these special methods, organized by leading European scientists in their laboratories on a non-profit basis. The ESACP Council will elaborate qualitative and quantitative conditions which must be fulfilled by the organizers and their institutions. Three categories of ESACP affiliations will be differentiated:

i) those recognized by ESACP (initiative by a member where ESACP is not included in the organization; ii) those on behalf of ESACP (initiative by a member ESACP included in the orqanization) and iii) those organized by ESACP (initiative and organisation by ESACP).

As soon as the regulations for these methodologic tutorials have been elaborated by the committees of the ESACP council, they will be published in the next newsletter.

Members of the ESACP will then be asked to apply for the organization of such courses on behalf of the ESACP. Quality control of these courses will be guarantied by the ESACP council.

The methodological orientation of our Society qualifies us to be the ideal body to elaborate consensus reports on special methods. These should contain suggestions for nomenclature, instrumentation requirements, scaling procedures, performance standards, standardized protocols, guidelines for data interpretation and mechanisms for quality assurance. As a first example, the Consensus Report on Diagnostic DNA Image Cytometry was established, which had been agreed upon by 32 invited specialists during the Third ESACP conference in Grenoble, This report will soon be published in ACP. Another consensus report on diagnostic DNA-flow cytometry is in preparation.

The following committees were founded during the council meeting at the Third ESACP Conference: DNA image cytometry, DNA flow cytometry, quantitative immunohistochemistry/cytochemistry, telepathology and tutorial activities.

These committees will both supervise the methodologically oriented tutorials and the elaboration of consensus papers.

Fourthly, the interdisciplanarity of our societv offers the opportunity of an integrated application of histology, cytology, cytogenetics, molecular biology, molecular genetics, informatics and other methods for research in diagnostic pathology. Our biological aim is, on the one hand, basic research in pathology by combined application of the above cited methods, and on the other the application of quantitative methods to improve diagnosis in cyto- and histopatholoqy. In contrast with purely pathological societies, ESACP offers a multidisciplinarv approach to basic research and diagnosis in pathoiogy. Pathologists will benefit from the contact with specialists of those methods they wish to apply in their research and routine diagnostic work. The non-pathologists in our society will profit from discussions with pathologists understanding their diagnostic problems and learning about the etiology and pathogenesis of various diseases.

Finally, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Gerard Brugal and his team for their perfect organization of the Third ESACP conference in Grenoble It has been a scientifically and culturally outstanding event. All of the ESACP are grateful that he has dedicated all his enthusiasm, experience, creativity and ability to help our young and inexperienced society to mature and experience such a fruitful and communicative meeting.

Alfred A.Böcking
President of ESACP


The European Society for Analytical Cellular Pathology and its journal Analytical Cellular Pathology were founded in 1987-88 and the Society had its first meeting in 1989 at Schloss Elmau, Germany (organized by the late Georg Burger and collaborators). There were about 150 participants. Past President Peter Vooijs organized the second ESACP meeting in 1992 which was held in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. About 400 people attended this meeting. The third ESACP meeting was held in Grenoble in 1994, organized by Gerard Brugal and collaborators, and was attended by 700 participants.

In addition to the excellent talents of the organizers of these first three international conferences, the reason tor the exponential growth in the number of participants is also due to other factors.

The ESACP and the journal ACP are devoted to the communication of scientific work within cytometry and molecular pathology with emphasis on a possible clinical use of these techniques. During the short existence of the ESACP a breakthrough of important new techniques has occurred, such as the polymerase chain reaction, the possibility of using locus specific probes for the demonstration of nucleotide sequences with fluorescence microscopy and also important developments in the use of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). As can be seen from the list of contributions during the last conference it is obvious that there is considerable interest in applying these new techniques for further development of diagnostic pathology

It is also true that the application of quantitative immunohistochemistry in combination with monoclonal antibodies and cytometric instrumentation has made much progress during the last few years and hold promise of even greater improvement for use in diagnostic pathology in the near future.

It is obvious that ESACP and its journal ACP have the potential to become an important platform for the communication of developmental work within the field covering molecular and quantitative techniques and their extension into diagnostic pathology. The introduction of the relatively new techniques mentioned above and the development of other related methods will contribute to an increased understanding of eucaryotic gene expression and its relationship to human disease. Therefore it is to be expected that the ESACP and ACP will expand their membership even more in the near future.

Bjoern Stenkvist
Past President of ESACP


Interlinking of Cytometric Societies: Establishment of the International Cytometry Network (CytometryNet)

Cytometric techniques are presently utilized in many biomedical and cell oriented disciplines. The non destructive flow or image analysis of specific biochemical processes in individual viable or fixed cells within a heterogeneous environment i.e. in the presence of other cell types, adds fundamentally new possibilities to characterize the structural and functional mecha-nisms of growth, differentiation, death or malignant transformation of cells.

Cytometry initially started as a tool for the determination of DNA, volume, area or light scatter distributions of cells, but is rapidly growing into a potent strategy for the simultaneous, multiparametric and direct analysis of biochemical processes in cellular systems or organs. Since abnormal biochemical processes are the cause of disease, cytometric analysis is conceptually closer to patho-biochemical processes than the biochemical analysis of humoural body fluids like blood, serum plasma, urine or cerebrospinal fluid which only indirectly reflect cellular changes.

Today's cytometric approach to pathological states is necessarily multidisciplinary with input from general biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, cell physiology, genetics, informatics or engineering, for example.

Due to the fast expansion of cytometric disciplines, certain peculiarities have developed in its world wide organization over the years.

The initial European effort was centred mainly on DNA cytometry by microscopy or by the Phywe ICP11 and ICP22 Impulzytophotometer instruments developed by W.Göhde in Münster. Without a firm organization, a core group of scientists organized memorable meetings in Heidelberg, Münster, Vienna, Voss and Rome between 1973 and 1980.

The development of electrical cell counters by W. Coulter, of fluorescence activated cell counters by L. Kamentsky (Ortho Cytofluorograph), of preparative cell sorters in the Los Alamos, Livermore and Stanford laboratories by a variety of scientists and of several automated image analyzers for blood and other cells, encouraged the American Engineering Foundation, represented by the late S. Cole, to organize a series of 7 equally memorable meetings in Asilomer and Pensacola in the USA and in Schloss Elmau (Germany) between 1971 and 1989.

In 1979, the approximately 150-200 scientists on a world scale decided to jointly found the Society for Analytical Cytometry (SAC) in order to strengthen the further development of cytometry. The SAC journal, Cytometry, started in 1980. SAC was renamed the International Society for Analytic Cytology (ISAC) in 1990 too emphasize the international character of the society. A Clinical Division with a publication section in Cytometry was established in 1993 and this Clinical Communication in Cytometry (CCC) is edited in conjunction with the Charleston Clinical Application of Cytometry group as part of Cytometry since 1994 to cope with clinical manuscript submissions.

The rapid and world wide installation in the 80s of many new flow cytometers, especially in hospitals, and the development of new conventional confocal and laser scanning microscopes created an enormous boost for scientific work in many basic research and clinical disciplines. This generated an increasing demand for training, quality control, method and software development.

As a consequence, national societies emerged in many European countries as well as Japan, China and Australia The foundation of the regionally active European Society for Analytical Cellular Pathology (ESACP) in 1986 was initiated mainly by image analysis and the clinically oriented Concerted Action for Automated Cytometry (CAAC) of the European Economic Community (EEC). The journal Analytical Cellular Pathology (ACP) started in 1989 and from its beginning was focused on clinical aspects of image and flow cytometry.

The present organization of cytometry into so many different societies may at first glance seem like a throwback to historical particularism. Although nationally successful, unnecessary information lags have become increasingly apparent. But seen positively, these many, very active societies are, with proper contact, carriers of an enormous world wide creativity and innovation potential.

Besides basic research, it is a main world wide effort to utilize cytometric patho-biochemistry in image and flow for better diagnosis, therapy control and prognosis establishment in individual patients. These efforts should lead to more efficient therapies with less drug induced side effects. The affected cellular systems are used directly as disease indicators instead of indirect indicators, such as the reaction of the whole organism or the changes of humoral biochemistry.

ISAC suggests affiliation of national societies under the ISAC umbrella for better information exchange and cooperative efforts. The Australian society and the Charleston Clinical Application of Cytometry group in the USA have affiliated but most national societies have so far preferred a looser adherence in the form of an International Federation of Cytometric Societies (IFCS).

The elaboration of consensus protocols and also the joint organization of cytometry courses and focus of meetings in Europe has generated the need for closer cooperation of cytometric societies within the EEC. This has prompted ESACP at its recent Grenoble meeting to initiate the establishment of the CytometryNet via internet data lines. The CytometryNet will be a complement to the installation of cytometric E-mail boxes for educational and methodological purposes e.g. by Paul Robinson (University of Indiana) for ISAC and on a smaller scale also by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zytometrie (DGZ) in Germany.

The goal of the CytometryNet will be to provide organizational information on individual national societies such as names and addresses of officers and secretariat, membership, newsletters; meeting schedules, abstracts, courses etc. In addition, the elaboration of consensus protocols, the organization of international meetings, and especially in Europe the planning and elaboration of joint research projects seem to be important items. The world wide free access to cytometric information for interested people and the easy entrance for new cytometric societies into the CytometryNet are attractive aspects. The first CytometryNet on-line service has been recently installed in the gopher information system. The ESACP and GZ nodes are reached by the Gopher and FTP (anonymous) programs as: and:

They are also reachable from the world wide web (www) net with programs like Mosaic or Netscape as:

gopher:// and:

To provide better access to the CytometryNet and to be simultananeously informed on cytometry bulletin boards of large institutions or individual flow cytometry laboratories as well as on E-mail boxes and cytometric shareware software providers, the www CYTORELAY node was recently installed:

The electronic interlinking will be an efficient tool for the coordinated world wide advancement of cytometry. It will particularly favour the clinical sciences. An enormous effort for standardization and quality control is required for the worid wide establishment of "good laboratory practice" (GLP) procedures. Although the practical implementation of a scientific consensus may vary in different countries, the efforts for reasons of intellectual and financial economy are best made on a world wide scale. It is my hope that the CytometryNet will substantially contribute to this effort.

Günter Valet
President Elect of ESACP

For those of you who are wondering why I went off the screen for so long, the reason is that my horse took a dim view of running into an electrified cow wire strung across a communal path. Senor Quito bolted in the opposite direction at a thrilling gallop only to be confronted with yet another cow wire and he slammed on the brakes. My perfect Galilean parabola dumped me onto a mess of cow pats, which are not as soft as you would think. I fractured 7 ribs (two compound) and I am now tearing around my office at the speed of a Galopagos tortoise. But I am here, and things are slowly coming back to normal.

That personal note taken care of, I would like to go on to matters of direct interest to our members. On the urging of Philippe Terheggen (Elsevier) and Brian Mayall, we have agreed to a "friendly take over" of membership applications and renewals and the managerial running of ESACP. Thus, whenever you experience difficulties receiving your copies of ACP please contact me directly and promptly. Indeed, do not hesitate to contact me if you have queries about your manuscripts, or any thing else. For the newly founded NEWSLETTER, I will need announcements, congresses, tutorials etc that you wish to have published at the earliest possible date in order that it be included in the NEWSLETTER. Once a few of the NEWSLETTER have come out, it will be easier to see what the yearly frequency will be.

As most of you have noted, ACP is doing very well indeed with more submissions in 1994 (63) than in 1993 (56). But even more important, the quality of the papers have risen significantly. This is illustrated by 1993 impact assessment which was 1.138, a high score for a new journal (usually around 0.7). That puts us at 23rd of 55 journals in Pathology and 48th out of 75 in cytology and histology. We can expect that rating will continue to go up, reflecting the rise in the quality of submitted papers.

Victoria von Hagen

Outgoing President: Björn Stenkvist
Outgoing Treasurer: Martin Oberholzer

Officials of ESACP 1994-1997
President: Alfred Böcking
President Elect: Günter Valet
Editor-in-Chief ACP: Gerard Brugal
Managing Editor and Co-opted Executive Secretary: Victoria von Hagen

Agreed to continue:
Secretary: Ian O. Ellis
Treasurer: Georg Feichter

Nasseem Husain (retired) has indicated his willingness to continue to support the Society and was Co-opted onto Council.

Councillors willing to continue on Council:
Walter Giaretti, Albrecht Reith, Olga Ferrer-Roca, James Tucker, Sophia Markidou, Guilliano Mazzini

New nominations accepted for Council:
Gerard Lizard (France)
Chris Sowter (Great Britain)
Erik Schulte (Germany)
Peter Hall (Scotland)
I.T.Young (Netherlands)
Michael Ormerod (Great Britain)
Bernhard Tribukait (Sweden)

(Note: An excess number of nominations had not been received and voting was therefore not necessary)

Members of Council no longer active or wishing to stand down: Frank Roels, Francisco Beltrame, Gerald Slavin, Martin Oberholzer, Dennis Rutovitz, Naseem Hussain, Gert Auer, Franko Rilke, Pierre Viallet

The ESACP has Affiliations with the following National Scientific Societies:
- The Royal Microspical Society (United Kingdom). Both bodies are organizing the Cyto'95 as a joint congress in July 1995 in Southampton
- The Cercle Francais de Microscopie (France). Both bodies organized the IIIrd Conference of the ESACP in Grenoble, May 1994.
- The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zytometrie (Germany). Meeting abstracts are regularly published in ANALYTICAL CELLULAR PATHOLOGY.
- The societies furthermore exchange mailing lists and coordinate meeting dates.

Future ESACP Scientific Meetings:
1995 Joint meeting of 4th ESACP and The Royal Microspical Society 3-6 July, University of Southampton, hosted by M.Ormerod. 1997: 5th full ESACP meeting is to be hosted by A. Reith in Norway.

(Note) The next ISAC meeting will be held in Europe in 1996. Consequently, our next full meeting will be in 1997.

Activities Committees:
- DNA image cytometry Secretary: A. Böcking, Düsseldorf, Germany
Members: X.Albe, Geneva Switzerland, F.Giroud Grenoble, France; A. Reith, Oslo, Norway; E. Schulte, Mainz, Germany; E. Thunnissen, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

- DNA Flow Cytometry
Secretary: B. Tribukait, Stockholm, Sweden
Members G. Feichter, Basel Switzerland; W Giaretti, Genoa, Italy, F. Otto, Münster, Germany; M. Ormerod, Raygate, United Kingdom, V. Shankey, Maywood II USA; G. Valet, Munich, Germany.

-Quantitative Immunocytochemistry
Secretary: J.A. Baak, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Members: I.Ellis, Nottingham, United Kingdom, O. Ferrer-Roca Canarias, Spain; D. Kunze, Dresden, Germany; F. Giroud. Grenoble. France.

-Educational Activities
Secretary: A. Böcking, Düsseldorf, Germany Members: I.O. Ellis, Nottingham United Kingdom, A. Reith, Oslo, Norway; J. Tucke; Edinburgh, United Kingdom; I;T. Young, Delft, The Netherlands.

Please note deadline for next ESACP News letter material is July 10,1995

Munich, Jan. 8, 1995
Dear colleagues,

CYTO95: As you recall, ESACP will coorganise the CYTO95 meeting in South- amptom, UK (July 3-6) together with the Royal Microscopical Society. A first circular is available and enclosed in this letter. Please, ask for further information by sending the postcard part of the announcement to the indicated address. We would be very happy if ESACP contributors or visitors to this meeting would be numerous.

ACP Newsletter:
While this short newsletter is sent out to inform you about the CYTO95 meeting, a regular and more extensive ESACP newsletter will appear in the societie's journal: Analytical Cellular Pathology (ACP) in one of the next issues. Many colleagues have expressed their interest in regular newsletters. We will try to keep you informed on new developments in the cytometric area.

ESACP On-line Bulletin Board:
An electronic bulletin board of ESACP was recently installed within the Internet Gopher information system. The bulletin board can be reached by the Gopher or the FTP(anonymus) programs as: It is also reachable through the world wide web (www) net via the Windows Mosaic program as: gopher:// The bulletin board contains information on the structure and function of the society i.e.: adresses of secretariat, executive committee and council members, history, bylaws, meetings. We will also try to make the authors and abstract titles of the Grenoble 1994 meeting available for electronic search. Furthermore a consensus document on morphometric DNA analysis of Prof.Böcking, Düsseldorf and colleagues is included. A consensus document on flow cytometric DNA analysis by Prof.Tribukait, Stockholm and colleagues is in preparation.

A second information node for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zytometrie (DGZ) is linked to the ESACP node within the CytometryNet. This node is reached via automated link from the ESACP node or directly by: and: gopher:// It is our hope to extend this net further. The Italian and Iberian cytometric societies have expressed their wish to build up their own servers.

Phil Dean, Livermore has recently established a electronic networking task group for the International Society for Analytical Cytology (ISAC). Besides basic information on ISAC, Gary Salzman, Los Alamos will make available the new proposals for standardised cytometric list mode and image data files. It is also intendet to build up a: cytorelay node which will provide automated links to cytometric bulletin boards of the NIH, NCI, Harvard University, Salk Institute etc. In this way it will be very easy to access a maximum of frequently updated information in the cytometric field. Most of the information is presently on flow cytometry but there are efforts, mainly in the US, to provide such information equally for the image analysis area.

The rapidly evolving electronic communication will probably link many cytometric societies on a world wide scale in the near future. It seems therefore important that ESACP members try to get access to the E-mail or Internet system. For university or public institution scientists this is usually comparatively easy because most universities provide cost free institutional access to the electronic network for their members.

ESACP Membership Directory:
For the new membership directory, it would be very convenient to in- clude telephone and telefax numbers as well as E-mail addresses of the mem- bers. The mutual contacts are substantially facilitated if this information is generally available. Please, communicate these data to me by fax, E-mail, letter or telephone. The ESACP membership is presently around 270 members.

We encourage you all to renew your membership in 1995 and to interest further scientists to join. There is the curious situation that between 400 and 600 scientists participate in ESACP meetings but ESACP does not gain members at the same speed.

ESACP and ACP Renewal:
Due to changes of the VAT system in the European Community on Jan.1, 1995, the exact price of the ESACP membership and ACP r renewal are not yet fixed. Either all ESACP members pay the same rates or the rates have to be individualized according to the VAT levels in the different EEC and overseas countries. A decision will be shortly made and you will be informed by the Elsevier publishing house.

with my best wishes for a successful year
President Elect

Questions and comments to:
G.K.Valet, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Am Klopferspitz 18a, D-82152 Martinsried, Gererermany, Tel: +49/89/8578-2518, -2525, Fax: +49/89/8578-2563
E-mail: Internet:
Last edit: Feb.26, 1996