Medicine

7 June 2017

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Big help for small children

Human Health Medical Science

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.

27 April 2017

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Getting a Handle on Safety

Medical Science Human Health

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.

14 March 2017

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Rays of hope for patients

Medical Science Human Health

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.

23 February 2017

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In start-up companies, getting it done is a matter of survival

Biology Medical Science Human Health

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.

31 January 2017

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In cold water

Human Health Medical Science Biology

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.

19 January 2017

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Added value for cancer patients

Human Health Medical Science

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.

12 December 2016

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In the focus of the protons

Medical Science Human Health Radiopharmacy

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.

8 December 2016

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Back to life

Medical Science Human Health

Doctors had discovered, behind Gabi Meier’s right eye, a tumour that surrounded the optic nerve. Only at the PSI was there still one possibility to treat the tumour in such a way as to preserve neighbouring structures and the eye. A few months after the proton treatment was over, I realised that I could see more and more, she said in an interview. “Just dimly, it’s true, but I could see! That was sensational!”

25 November 2016

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20 years of high-precision combat against cancer

Medical Science Human Health

On 25.11.1996, at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, the world’s first cancer patient was treated with a new irradiation method: the so-called spot-scanning technique for proton beams. What’s special about it: The beam has its effect only at the depth where the tumour is located; healthy tissue above and below it is preserved. The method, developed by PSI researchers, was a breakthrough at the time and quickly became a successful product.

26 July 2016

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Designer nuclide for medical applications

Medical Science Human Health Radiopharmacy

Researchers at the PSI have for the first time used a cyclotron to produce the radionuclide scandium-44 in a quantity and concentration as needed for medical treatment. With that, they have achieved the first precondition for scandium-44 to be used one day for medical tests in hospitals.

21 April 2016

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Hitting cancer from the inside

Medical Science Human Health Radiopharmacy

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI are now investigating a new method to channel radioactive substances directly into the nucleus of a cancer cell. Through this approach, the radiation source remains inside the cell and works in a more targeted way, because it gets closer to the cell's genetic information.

3. March 2016

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Medicines made to order with pinpoint precision

Medical Science Human Health Radiopharmacy

At PSI, scientists are developing new medicines against cancer. These contain radioactive substances that can be injected into the patients and thus make their way to the tumour. There, in direct contact, their radiation should destroy the cancer cells. Before such a radioactive medicine can be tested on patients in the first clinical trials, however, its safety must be guaranteed to ensure that the patient will not be harmed. Therefore every agent is produced at the PSI under sterile conditions and tested – separately for each patient, and only on the doctor's order.

17. February 2016

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Developing a new drug against thyroid cancer

Medical Science Human Health Radiopharmacy

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a drug to trace and treat a particularly malignant strain of thyroid cancer more effectively. One advantage of the new drug is that it can be used to treat a strain of thyroid cancer where the established treatment is ineffective. The researchers at PSI have developed the new drug to such an extent that an initial study conducted on cancer patients at the University Hospital Basel can now get underway.

3. February 2016

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Probing what sets the heart racing

Media Releases Biology Human Health Medical Science

New insights into the workings of important drug receptors
Many medical drugs operate on specific receptors located in the outer walls of our body’s cells. One of these is called the beta-1 adrenergic receptor. Among other things, it is responsible for palpitation, the racing pulse that we feel with stage fright or infatuation. How it transmits signals to the cellular interior can now be revealed in detail. These findings could help scientists better understand many drugs' mode of action.

14. January 2016

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Targeting cancer

Medical Science Human Health Radiopharmacy

There are tumours where nothing seems to help: not chemotherapy, not external radiation therapy, not an operation. Often, they have already metastasised and can no longer be destroyed using conventional methods. The only option left here is internal radiotherapy with targeted radioactive drugs that strike directly at the heart of the disease. In order to make this possible, twenty specialists have been conducting research at the Centre for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, a joint facility of PSI, ETH Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich.

19. October 2015

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Robust X-ray machine for developing countries

Medical Science Biology Human Health

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is involved in a project conducted by several research institutes (spearheaded by EPFL) to devise an X-ray machine especially for developing countries. The device should be able to cope with tropical climes and be easy and cheap to repair. PSI researchers are focusing on producing a cost-effective detector that is necessary for the imaging. The detector registers the X-ray light much like a chip in a digital camera.

10. August 2015

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New details of the transmission of stimuli in living organisms unveiled

Media Releases Biology Human Health Medical Science

Researchers unveil new details of how cells in a living organism process stimuli. So-called G-proteins, which help conduct external stimuli that reach a cell into its interior, play a central role here. For the first time, the study shows which parts of the G-proteins are vital for their function. Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, ETH Zurich, the pharmaceutical company Roche and the British MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology report their results in the journals Nature and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

21. July 2015

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Fighting tumours with protons

Human Health Medical Science

Interview with Damien Charles Weber
Damien Charles Weber has been the head and chief physician of the Centre for Proton Therapy, the only centre of its kind in Switzerland, since 2013. In this interview, he talks about the successes of proton therapy in cancer treatment and the objectives for the next few years in this field.

15. May 2014

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Phase contrast improves mammography

Media Releases Medical Science Human Health

Phase contrast X-ray imaging has enabled researchers at ETH Zurich, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the Kantonsspital Baden to perform mammographic imaging that allows greater precision in the assessment of breast cancer and its precursors. The technique could improve biopsy diagnostics and follow-up.

24. October 2013

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A promising new method for the diagnosis of breast cancer

Media Releases Medical Science Human Health

A new mammography procedure that could generate substantial added value for the diagnosis of breast cancer in medical practice has just been published in the scientific journal “Investigative Radiology”. The method was developed at PSI in cooperation with the Certified Breast Centre at the Kantonsspital (cantonal hospital in) Baden and Philips as an industrial partner and is making the tiniest tissue changes visible. This has the potential to improve the early detection of breast cancer. Further studies in women suffering from breast cancer are to prove in a definitive manner the added value of the method.

10. October 2013

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Vitamins join fight against cancer

Human Health Medical Science

Cristina Müller, from the Center of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), is researching a cancer therapy with radioactively labelled folate compounds. These enter the tumour cell unimpeded like a Trojan horse which is then killed as a consequence of emitted particle-radiation she explains.

29. July 2013

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Pancreas: new procedure detects tumours more efficiently

Media Releases Medical Science Human Health

Better than CT and MRI: researchers at the Inselspital Berne, the University Hospital Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute have devised a new method to detect small tumours in the pancreas.

11. November 2011

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Nanoforscher untersuchen Karies

Media Releases Biology Medical Science Research Using Synchrotron Light User Experiments

Forscher der Universität Basel und des Paul Scherrer Instituts konnten im Nanomassstab zeigen, wie sich Karies auf die menschlichen Zähne auswirkt. Ihre Studie eröffnet neue Perspektiven für die Behandlung von Zahnschäden, bei denen heute nur der Griff zum Bohrer bleibt. Die Forschungsergebnisse wurden in der Fachzeitschrift «Nanomedicine» veröffentlicht.
This news release is only available in German.

2. August 2011

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Investigation of a new method for the diagnosis of cancer in breast tissue

Media Releases Human Health Medical Science

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI has developed a new breast cancer diagnostic method, and is now carrying out first tests on non-preserved human tissue in conjunction with Kantonsspital Baden AG. This new method should be able to reveal structures that cannot be seen using conventional mammography. Scientists from the research department at Philips are currently investigating the use of this process as the basis for application in medical practice.

15. October 2010

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25 Jahre erfolgreiche Behandlung von Augentumoren am PSI

Media Releases Human Health Medical Science

Heute haben die Physiker und Ärzte des PSI diesen Erfolg mit einem Festsymposium gefeiert. In Anwesenheit von geladenen Gästen aus Forschung, Medizin und Politik wurde dabei auch die brandneue Behandlungsanlage OPTIS 2 eingeweiht. Diese Bestrahlungseinrichtung befindet sich nicht nur technisch auf dem allerneusten Stand, sondern überzeugt auch durch ihre Patientenfreundlichkeit.
This news release is only available in German.

2. July 2010

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Paul Scherrer Institut ermöglicht bessere Versorgung der Spitäler mit hochwirksamem Krebsmedikament

Media Releases Medical Science Human Health

Das Paul Scherrer Institut ist für die Behandlung von bestimmten Krebserkrankungen mittels seiner einzigartigen Protonentherapie-Anlage bekannt. Nun hilft das PSI auch bei der Behandlung einer Gruppe von Krebspatienten durch die Herstellung eines Krebsmedikaments. Die erste Patientendosis wurde heute am Zentrum für Radiopharmazeutische Wissenschaften des PSI hergestellt und im Kantonsspital Luzern einem Patienten verabreicht.
This news release is only available in German.

28. October 2008

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Röntgenbilder mit Durchblick

Media Releases Medical Science Human Health

Der Nationale Latsis-Preis 2008 geht an Franz Pfeiffer. Der Physiker hat einen Weg gefunden, die in der Spitzenforschung angewandten Verfahren der Röntgentechnik auch für gewöhnliche Röntgengeräte nutzbar zu machen. Der mit 100'000 Franken dotierte Preis wird jährlich vom Schweizerischen Nationalfonds (SNF) im Auftrag der Latsis-Stiftung vergeben.
This news release is only available in German.

3. June 2008

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Vitamin B12 ist das Trojanische Pferd der Krebsforscher am schweizerischen Zentrum für radiopharmazeutische Wissenschaft

Media Releases Human Health Medical Science Biology

Erste Klinische Studie soll Mitte Juni beginnen.
This news release is only available in German.

20. January 2008

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New technology sharpens X-ray vision

Media Releases Medical Science Biology Human Health

Publication in Nature. Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the EPFL in Switzerland have developed a novel method for producing dark-field X-ray images at wavelengths used in typical medical and industrial imaging equipment. Dark-field images provide more detail than ordinary X-ray radiographs and could be used to diagnose the onset of osteoporosis, breast cancer or Alzheimer's disease, to identify explosives in hand luggage, or to pinpoint hairline cracks or corrosion in functional structures.

27. November 2007

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New insights on cataract formation

Human Health Medical Science Biology Research Using Neutrons

Using the tools and techniques of soft condensed matter physics, a research team from University of Fribourg and EPF Lausanne in Switzerland has demonstrated that a finely tuned balance of attractions between proteins keeps the lens of the eye transparent, and that even a small change in this balance can cause proteins to aggregate and de-mix.

25. September 2007

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Year round proton radiation therapy at PSI using a new, dedicated cyclotron

Media Releases Large Research Facilities Medical Science Human Health

A pioneer in proton therapy for the treatment of cancer, PSI has recently introduced one of the most advanced technologies in the field. A new proton accelerator, a superconducting cyclotron, has been put into operation for patient treatment. The accelerator is used in conjunction with a gantry, a device which delivers the protons to the patient from any angle. The desired dose distribution is achieved by scanning a small pencil beam of protons throughout the tumor. The performance of the new accelerator has been excellent since the start of medical operation.
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