New avenues in radiation therapy

GSI is the birthplace of a new form of cancer treatment. This development was the result of many years of research in conjunction with GSI’s large ion-beam accelerator system.

To date, ion-beam radiotherapy has been used to treat more than 440 patients for tumors in the head or neck region. The advantage of this new treatment modality is that the ion beam selectively damages tumor tissues while sparing the surrounding healthy tissues.

Further research will focus on applying the new treatment method to other malignant tumors as well.

An ion-beam radiotherapy center was constructed at the Heidelberg University Medical Center under the technical direction of GSI. Since its opening in November 2009 patients can be treated in clinical routine operation.

Picture: GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
Example of a patient with a tumor within the cranium before radiation therapy
Picture: GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
Example of a patient with a tumor within the cranium after radiation therapy with carbon ions.
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Example of a patient with a tumor within the cranium before radiation therapy
Example of a patient with a tumor within the cranium after radiation therapy with carbon ions.
The tumor is marked in red.
The reduction of the tumor six weeks after radiation therapy with carbon ions can be seen.
Picture: GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
Picture: GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung