In the service of health, scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI work with radionuclides and develop agents to treat cancer and to detect tumours. Their research provides support to hospitals and is of great interest to Swiss industry.
At the treatment stations of the Centre for Proton Therapy at PSI, tumours can be precisely irradiated from any direction. An interactive graphic explains how the protons get from the source to the body in order to trigger the elimination of tumour tissue.
Proton therapy is time-consuming and more costly than conventional radiation therapy, but its accuracy in targeting tumours is unsurpassed. An interview with Damien Weber, head of the Centre for Proton Therapy at PSI.
At PSI, cancer patients receive a therapy that is unique in Switzerland. Bombardment with protons wipes out cancer cells – and does so more precisely than with any other form of irradiation.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, together with colleagues from the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, have taken an important step towards the development of an active substance against the metastasis of certain cancers. Using the Swiss Light Source SLS, they deciphered the structure of a receptor that plays a crucial role in the migration of cancer cells.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have an important part of the regulatory cycle that is involved in the formation and degradation of the cytoskeleton. Among other things, they have watched molecular scissors at work.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have elucidated an important part of a siganalling pathway that transmits information through the cell membrane into the interior of a cell. This exists in all mammals and plays an important role, among other things, in the regulation of the heartbeat. The new findings could lead to new therapies.
At PSI, Beate Timmermann built up a programme providing proton therapy for children with cancer at the same time she was raising her own son. Today she is head of the Clinic for Particle Therapy at the West German Proton Therapy Centre in Essen (WPE) and is considered one of the most accomplished experts in this field.
A radioactive agent, developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI to fight an especially malignant form of thyroid cancer, has the potential to become a blockbuster drug. Due to its structure, it might also be able to dock onto cells of other tumours and destroy them with its radiation. The Lausanne-based biopharmaceutical company Debiopharm wants to further develop the PSI agent to the point where it is approved as a drug. Debiopharm and PSI have now created the contractual basis for this.
Gebhard Schertler is head of the research division Biology and Chemistry at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and professor for Structural Biology at ETH Zurich. In this interview he talks about biological research at PSI and the future of drug development.
The 16th of May is the International Day of Light. The research carried out with light at PSI enables advances in biology and pharmacology and also promotes the development of new materials for data storage and new technologies for personalised medicine.
With proton therapy, certain tumours can be irradiated with exceptional precision – while, the surrounding healthy tissue is optimally protected. In Switzerland, this kind of radiation therapy is only possible at PSI. In a joint project with the University Hospital Zurich and the University of Zurich, PSI has expanded its capacity with a state-of-the-art treatment facility: the new, 270-ton Gantry 3.
Proton therapy is already a success story at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI but researchers remain dedicated to making treatment faster and safer.
When small children develop cancer, the whole family is affected. Staff at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI’s Centre for Proton Therapy combine target-oriented proton beam irradiation and a caring, warm-hearted atmosphere to help these children.
Proton beams don’t just cure cancer. They can also damage healthy tissue. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, PSI’s Centre for Proton Therapy carries out over 350 safety tests a year. The results speak for themselves: several thousand patients have undergone proton irradiation treatment here in Villigen. There’s never been an accident.
For over 30 years, patients with a particular form of ocular tumour have been treated at PSI by means of proton irradiation. The tiny particles hit their target with millimetre precision, without endangering other structures of the eye. The irradiation facility OPTIS, developed at the PSI Center for Proton Therapy of the PSI, is a success story, considering that for more than 90 percent of the patients treated to date, the eye could be saved.
A pharmaceuticals manager at Roche for a long time, now he is the founder of a biotech firm on the campus of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI: Michael Hennig knows the trends in the medical sector. In this interview he explains why the medicine of the future needs the innovation power of publicly funded research, and why he chose to locate his start-up leadXpro so close to PSI.
Martin Ostermaier wanted to break out of the comfort zone of science. Now, instead of pipettes, the biochemist is dealing with investors and patent law.
At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, cancer patients receive a treatment that is unique in Switzerland: proton therapy. This state-of-the-art form of radiation therapy against cancer has major advantages, compared to conventional irradiation, in terms of effectiveness and side-effects. The PSI has its own Center for Proton Therapy dedicated to this special treatment. Its pioneering work has not only helped several thousand patients, but also has fundamentally changed proton therapy worldwide.
At the PSI, researchers work with radioactivity every day in order to develop advanced treatment methods for patients. Naturally, they take special safety precautions working with a material that decays. It's a race against time. To make sure everything functions smoothly, a dedicated work group takes care of the infrastructure.