PSI operates the first compact scanning-Gantry worldwide for proton
radiation therapy of deep-seated tumors. The spot-scanning technique developed
at PSI enables malignant tumors to be targeted with high precision deep
inside in the body, and their growth successfully stopped, without damaging
healthy tissue around the target area.
How does it work?
Protons have excellent physical
properties for radiation therapy which permit one to control very precisely
the shape of the dose distribution inside the patient's body. These positively
charged elementary particles - the nucleus of the hydrogen atom - are accelerated
to high energies and directed with high accuracy into the tumor by
means of computer controlled magnetic fields. The dose delivered by a proton
beam is well localized in space, not only in the lateral direction, but
also very precisely in depth, due to the presence of the characteristic
BRAGG peak. Surrounding healthy tissue is thereby optimally protected.
By end of 2012 the unique PSI compact Gantry 1 was used to treat more than 900 patients
suffering from brain, skull-base or spinal cord tumors as well as abdominal
sarcomas. Among the patients were more than 250 children and youth under the age of
Since mid 2004 small children
also benefit from proton therapy at PSI. These very young
cancer patients have to be anesthetized for the few minutes of the treatment,
so they stay accurately positioned and the healthy tissue remains unharmed.
A team of anesthetists from the Zurich
Children's Hospital looks after that side of things.
Since 1984 we operate the OPTIS facility, which was developed by physicists
at PSI for treatment of eye tumors. In close cooperation with the 'Hôpital
Ophtalmique' of the' Institute Jules Gonin' at the University of Lausanne by end of 2012 allmost 6000 patients had been treated with this unique method, in
which a proton beam is directed accurately onto the intraocular melanoma. In more
than 98 % of cases tumor growth can be stopped or the tumor eradicate.
In more than 90 % of cases the eye can be saved.
Expansion of research
and treatment services
Inspired by the success story at the OPTIS facility,
we develop further our equipment for widespread application of proton therapy in
hospitals (project PROSCAN). This entails the
construction and operation of a dedicated medical cyclotron (COMET) for proton acceleration and the development of a new Gantry 2 with advanced scanning techniques that extends the range of conditions we can treat, including moving
tumors. Gantry 2 started clinical operation in November 2013. A third treatment room, Gantry 3, sponsored by the Canton of Zurich, will be realized and used mainly for clinical research in close collaboration between the University Hospital in Zurich and PSI..
With the expansion of the facility, PSI
is able to treat about 500 to 600 patients per year, including those with
The financial investments in equipment - including the new Gantry 2 and the extension of the medical infrastructure - amounts
to about 70 MCHF, which is to be raised from PSI funds, sponsoring and donations,
as well as from donations of the Canton of Aargauand the Canton of Zurich (each 20 MCHF) for the PROSCAN project, and income from industrial applications (technology transfer).
We are still looking for additional
sponsors and benefactors - great or small - to make PROSCAN a further success story.
For information please contact Martin
Jermann, Proton Therapy Program PROSCAN. Here are our bank account
Neue Aargauer Bank
Konto Nr.: 968671-81
IBAN: CH50 0588 1096 8671 8100 0
Clearing No.: 5881
Paul Scherrer Institute
Every sum contributed will be
acknowledged. All funds received will be used exclusively for the Proton
Therapy Project PROSCAN. Sponsors and benefactors will be kept in touch
with the progress of the project.
and donors to date (CHF 5'000.- and above)