EN Seminars

Non-conventional isotopes collected by mass separation for new medical applications

by Thierry Stora (CERN), Zeynep Talip (Paul Scherrer Institute)

30/7-018 - Kjell Johnsen Auditorium (CERN)

30/7-018 - Kjell Johnsen Auditorium


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The field of so-called personalized medical treatments is rapidly expending, especially with recent progresses witnessed in biology and imaging. In that respect, the use of radioisotopes is already widely applied, with scintigraphy or PET-CT diagnostics. While medical treatments with radioisotopes are also well established, e.g. using radioactive Iodine for thyroid treatments, recent combinations of radiopharmaceuticals applied for both diagnostics and therapy has triggered a new field in medicine, the so-called theranostics (as contraction of therapy and diagnostics). Recently new theranostics drugs were developed and validated, and share in common the need to access to new types of radioisotopes that were not readily produced by traditional methods.

CERN-MEDICIS was recently launched to provide a new generation of non-conventional radioisotopes for medical applications. The facility combines unique features, such as a dedicated laboratory in the ISOLDE Class A work sector, an isotope mass-separation beamline and an irradiation station exploiting the high-energy PSBooster beams in the HRS beam dump.

The facility was commissioned with the last protons of PSBooster in 2017, and gained operational experience in 2018. During LS2, the facility operates with isotopes produced in partner proton or neutron facilities and that are dispatched after mass separation to biomedical research institutes.

The biomedical program is shaped and evaluated by a multidisciplinary medical and scientific collaboration, and consists in research and development on theranostics projects.

We will provide recent highlights and conclude with prospects for future programs at the European scale.