About the ICMS Society


The multitude of microenvironmental factors, their enormous activity spectrum and the complexity of their intermolecular cross talk requires active interdisciplinary interactions between researchers engaged in this research domain. In an effort to promote such interactions, we organized, in 1995, The First International Conference on Tumor Microenvironment. The conference that was held on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel was highly successful both from the scientific as well as the social aspects. It became clear to many of the participants that microenvironmental factors could play unconsidered but important roles in existing cancer treatment modalities and that new modalities aiming to target tumor-enhancing microenvironmental factors should be developed. The 1995 conference was the impetus to establish the International Cancer Microenvironment Forum (ICMF). The forum was founded by an international group of about twenty cancer researchers from 10 countries. The list of these ICMF charter members is given in the “Charter Members” section of this site.

The organization of multidisciplinary international conferences dedicated exclusively to tumor microenvironment became our major task.

The second “Tumor Microenvironment” conference was held in Baden, Austria, in 2002. The third conference took place in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2004, and the fourth conference, organized jointly with the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), was held in Florence, Italy, in 2007. The subsequent conference, organized jointly by the Institut National du Cancer (INCa) and the AACR,took place in Versailles, France, in 2009. The sixth conference took place in Suzhou China in 2012, the seventh in Tel Aviv Israel in 2015 and the eighth in Lisbon Portugal in 2018. All these conferences have met, in full, the intent of the organizers to create a friendly forum that promotes a critical review of novel basic findings and of innovative clinical studies pertaining to the cancer microenvironment.

In a meeting of the charter members of ICMF that took place in 2003, it was decided to upgrade the Forum into a Society. The International Cancer Microenvironment Society, ICMS, replaced ICMF..

ICMS undertook all ICMF’s  activities and strives to play a significant driving role towards the development of novel, microenvironment-related cancer therapy modalities and shift the balance of tumor-microenvironment interactions towards tumor and metastasis suppression. We trust that this aim will be achieved by promoting international cooperation and by stimulating basic, translational and applied research in themes linked to cancer microenvironment. In 2007 the International Cancer Microenvironment Society was formally registered in the US and in Israel.

In addition to the open-access international conferences, ICMS organizes meetings for charter members and a limited number of invited speakers. Past charter member meetings took place in  London (1997 - , hosted by Frances R. Balkwill); Pittsburgh (1999 - hosted by Ronald B. Herberman and Theresa L. Whiteside); San Sebastian (2003 - hosted by Fernando Vidal-Vanaclocha) and Safed (2008 -, hosted by the Israeli Charter Members of the ICMS). 

All cancer researchers, worldwide, from academia, the clinic, or from industry, are invited herewith to join the International Cancer Microenvironment Society.