This years STM (Society of Thermal Medicine) conference was a great success. The 3 day event was held at the beautiful CasaMagna Marriot Resort in Cancun, Mexico. The society strives to promote new discoveries in thermal biology, physics/engineering and medicine. Each year they come together to present their ideas in this forum.
- Dr. Rolf Issels, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, included an update on the long term survival benefit of adding hyperthermia to chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcoma in the Phase III randomized clinical trial. Data demonstrates a more than doubling the overall survival time. Chemotherapy averaging 6.2 years vs. 15.4 years when adding hyperthermia. Treatments were performed using the Pyrexar BSD-2000.
- Dr. Jacoba Van der Zee, Erasmus University, gave a very good talk reviewing 55 hyperthermia randomized trials including 5,099 patients showing the significant effectiveness of HT. Significant benefit was found in 19 of 27 trials when adding hyperthermia to radiation therapy, 9 of 11 trials when adding HT to chemotherapy, and in 7 of 10 trials by adding HT to both radiation plus chemotherapy. Concluding, “These results indicate that hyperthermia is a universal and effective modifier of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy in malignant tumors.”
- Dr. Elizabeth Repasky, Roswell Cancer Center, presented a plenary lecture describing the many ways that elevated temperature and physical stresses can stimulate immune responses.
- Dr. Hana Trefna, Chalmers University of Technology, presented efforts to release in this summer a new ESHO QA guideline to support the growing interest and application of interstitially applied hyperthermia with Brachytherapy.
- Dr. Ruediger Wessalowski, University of Dusseldorf, reported the success in treating pediatric ovarian germ cell tumors with hyperthermia and chemotherapy using the Pyrexar BSD-2000 system. This study included 22 patients. The overall survival in this patient population with an unfavorable prognosis was 71% (95% CI 46-86). This concluded: “A multi-modality therapy including regional hyperthermia according to the Hyper-PEI protocol has led to long-term remission in the majority of patients with advanced refractory or recurrent ovarian germ cell tumors.”
- Dr. Niloy Datta, Kantonspital Aarau AG, presented a systemic review and meta-analysis of HT and RT in locally recurrent breast cancer which was also published in 2016. This review report included 34 clinical studies that included 2110 patients. The conclusion of the met-analysis is “Thermoradiotherpay (HTRT) enhances the likelihood of complete response rates in locally recurrent breast carcinomas (LRBTCs) over radiation therapy alone by 22% with minimal acute and late morbidities. For even those previously irradiated, re-irradiation with hyperthermia provides a loco-regional control in two-thirds of the patients. HTRT could therefore be considered as an effective and safe palliative treatment option for LRBCs.”
- Dr. James Snider, University of Maryland, reported treatments for 87 patients treated with the Pyrexar BSD-500. Of this group 3 patients were treated by a pencil beam scanning proton therapy method showing the feasibility of combining hyperthermia with proton therapy.
- Dr. Arpit Chabra, University of Maryland, reported on the use of the Pyrexar BSD-500 hyperthermia as an external thermal therapy (ETT) method with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) in treating non-melanoma skin cancers on 6 patients. The conclusion stated: “This data tends to support strong consideration of using ETT concurrently with EBRT in this setting. “
- Gerard Van Rhoon, Phd, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, was presented with the 28th J. Eugene Robinson award presented annually to an investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the field of hyperthermic oncology.
- Mark W. Dewhirst, Phd, Duke University, was presented with the George M Hahn award presented every other year to an investigator whose research has contributed in a significant way to new clinical applications in thermal therapy.
Thanks for STM president Robert Ivkov, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and team for putting on an amazing event.