The Society for Thermal Medicine (STM) originated as the North American Hyperthermia Group (NAHG) in 1981 and initially, the predominant interest of its founding members was to investigate and optimize the radiosensitizing properties of hyperthermia in oncologic practice. The group incorporated as the North American Hyperthermia Society (NAHS) in 1986 and reincorporated with an expanded mission as the Society for Thermal Medicine in 2005.
The society strives to facilitate interaction and communication between theoretical, experimental, and clinical practitioners in the disciplines of biology, physics, engineering, and clinical sciences, leading to improved understanding of thermal interactions with tissue and expanded clinical applications of thermal therapy. A common goal is the desire to promote basic and translational research that will contribute to improved clinical application of thermal medicine, while diffusing this knowledge across the diverse disciplines involved.
Following three international meetings on hyperthermia in 1975, 1977 and 1980, STM has met annually thereafter. Once every four years, STM meets together with its two sister societies (European Society of Hyperthermic Oncology and Asian Society for Hyperthermia Oncology) as the International Congress of Hyperthermic Oncology (ICHO) which rotates locations between Europe, Asia and US. The three societies cooperatively founded the “International Journal of Hyperthermia” and adopted it as their official journal in 1986.
Since expanding its scope from studies of moderate temperature Hyperthermia to wider applications of Thermal Medicine, STM encourages investigation of all aspects of thermal interactions with tissue and refinement of devices and techniques for thermal therapy with heat and cold. While the Society maintains a pivotal interest in thermal therapy applications for cancer, the membership is expanding to encompass scientists interested in thermal effects on immunology, physiology and cell biology, and in the treatment of non-oncological diseases and medical conditions.
STM is preparing now for its 2009 meeting with the theme Expanding the Frontiers of Thermal Biology, Medicine and Physics. The meeting will be held in Tucson Arizona on April 3-9, 2009, a most pleasant time of the year in this beautiful desert location. This event should offer substantial opportunities for scientists of widely ranging disciplines to interact and take advantage of state of the art knowledge on thermal effects on tissue.