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CERN and Lausanne University Hospital collaborate on a pioneering new cancer radiotherapy facility

CERN and Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) are collaborating to develop the conceptual design of an innovative radiotherapy facility used for cancer treatment.

CERN's Flash Radiation Technology
FLASH radiotherapy administers the therapeutically required dose of radiation in a handful of sessions each lasting less than a second, rather than in the conventional multiple sessions of a few minutes. | Copyright CERN

CERN, in the canton of Geneva, and Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), in the canton of Vaud, are collaborating to develop the conceptual design of an innovative radiotherapy facility used for cancer treatment.

This facility will capitalize on CERN’s breakthrough accelerator technology applied to a technique called FLASH radiotherapy, which delivers high-energy electrons to treat tumors. The result will be a cutting-edge form of cancer treatment, highly targeted and capable of reaching deep into the patient’s body, with less side effects.

The advantage of FLASH therapy was recognized at CHUV, which pioneered the development of the field. “In 2018, CHUV showcased the complete disappearance of a tumor in a resistant superficial skin cancer, with nearly no side effects. This first FLASH treatment on humans accelerated the clinical translation of FLASH therapy,” explains Professor Bourhis, Head of Radiation Oncology at CHUV.

A breakthrough resulting from unique regional development and innovation opportunities

CERN and CHUV, co-owners of the technology, aim to conclude a partnership to translate the conceptual design into building plans for the new proposed FLASH facility. The new facility will be compact enough to be installed in existing hospitals.

“CHUV is centered on clinical excellence and patient-centric care. These values, together with the unique opportunities for development and innovation that the region offers, allow us to achieve great breakthroughs. We are particularly proud of our collaboration with CERN and strongly believe in the advancement of FLASH radiotherapy into a clinical setting,” commented Prof. Philippe Eckert, CHUV Director General.

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