A new project called CERN MEDICIS aims to produce novel isotopes as diagnostic agents and treatments for brain and pancreatic cancers.
Accelerators and their related technologies have long been developed at CERN to undertake fundamental research in nuclear physics, probe the high-energy frontier or explore the properties of antimatter. Some of the spin-offs of this activity have become key to society. A famous example is the World Wide Web, while another is medical applications such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanner prototypes and image reconstruction algorithms developed in collaboration between CERN and Geneva University Hospitals in the early 1990s. Today, as accelerator physicists develop the next-generation radioactive beam facilities to address new questions in nuclear structure – in particular HIE-ISOLDE at CERN, SPIRAL 2 at GANIL in France, ISOL@Myrrha at SCK•CEN in Belgium and SPES at INFN in Italy – medical doctors are devising new approaches to diagnose and treat diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and cancers. Read more.