It is our pleasure and privilege to invite you to Switzerland for ESHO2015, this year’s annual meeting of the European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology.
This conference—the 30th of its kind and a flagship event in the thermal cancer therapy community—is being co-organized by The Kantonsspital Aarau (KSA) and the IT’IS Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society (IT’IS Foundation), two important players in this community. KSA, under the leadership of Prof. Stephan Bodis (MD), was the first and remains the only center in Switzerland to perform hyperthermia treatment, starting in 2006, and is one of only 20 European centers to offer both superficial and deep hyperthermia therapies combined with radio- and/or chemotherapy. The IT’IS Foundation, led by Prof. Niels Kuster (PhD), is an independent, non-profit research institute, closely associated with the ETH Zurich, with a reputation worldwide as a center of competence for computational and experimental research on electromagnetic fields and applications thereof, including hyperthermina applicators and treatment planning tools.
Encouraging results in phase I, II, and III clinical trials support the position that hyperthermia in combination with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy is a promising multimodality therapy for primary, recurrent, or metastatic cancers. However, high quality hyperthermia remains difficult to achieve for numerous reasons, including a dearth of suitable planning tools, uncertainties regarding dose-effect relationships, and the complexity of treatment steering. Hence, progress is needed at the theoretical level—to expand our understanding of the biological mechanisms at the cellular level; at the bench—to develop improved hardware and treatment planning software; and at the bedside—in the design, implementation, and interpretation of clinical trials.
ESHO2015 aims to contribute to meaningful progress in the field by facilitating effective dialogue among the members—the clinicians, physicists, engineers, and biologists—of the hyperthermia community and by promoting mutual understanding of the strengths and limitations of all professionals involved in implementing hyperthermia in the clinical setting. ESHO brings together representatives from all of these very diverse disciplines, provides the platform for presentation of new ideas, research, and data, and opens the floor to discussion.
As in previous years, the 2 days of plenary meeting, which this year will be held in Zurich, is preceded by a clinical training day, this year at the Kantonsspital Aarau. The overall structure of the meeting will revolve around three main topics: hyperthermia in the clinic, the biology of hyperthermia, and hyperthermia from a physics and engineering perspective. New in 2015 will be an emphasis on computational approaches to hyperthermia treatment planning and optimization and a priority on the involvement of young researchers. Specific program items dedicated to new cohorts of hyperthermia scientists include 3-minute flash oral presentations of individual posters and a young investigator competition and award ceremony.
In the words of Jens Overgaard, “the heat is (still) on!”, as we contribute to the future of hyperthermic radiation oncology with ESHO2015! We look forward to welcoming you in Zurich, Switzerland's largest city and a vibrant cultural hub that we are confident will be an excellent rendez-vous for the international hyperthermic oncology community.