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CERN Courier magazine: October 2016 digital edition

Cern Courier

Welcome to the digital edition of the October 2016 issue of CERN Courier

Particle physics, and CERN in particular, has made major contributions to medicine. Key to this, in addition to detectors for diagnosis and medical imaging, is accelerator technology. A new high-energy proton therapy centre in Nice, which has its roots in a CERN project, is about to treat its first patients, offering more precise treatment of tumours than is possible with conventional X-rays. Particle beams are also playing an increasingly vital role in the production of medical isotopes, which have traditionally been produced by research reactors. With global demand for isotopes such as technetium-99m growing and many reactors reaching the end of their operational lifetimes, CERN has recently launched a project called MEDICIS to produce isotopes from high-energy proton beams. Meanwhile, Brookhaven National Laboratory in the US has undergone a series of upgrades to boost its long-running isotope programme, and TRIUMF in Canada is pursuing isotopes for the rapidly growing field of targeted alpha therapy. Other particle-physics laboratories are pursuing similar cross-disciplinary programmes, illustrating the benefit of basic science to society.

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