50 years GSI



The new accelerator facility FAIR is under construction at GSI. Learn more.


GSI is member of


Funded by




In the roadshow “33 Stories – One State-of-the-art Treatment,” patients tell their stories. One of them is about tumor therapy at GSI

Photo: Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg

Pascal was treated at GSI.



When he was six years old, Pascal was diagnosed with a malignant bone tumor. He received heavy-ion radiation treatment at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt, where this therapy was developed. And he recovered. Today Pascal is 18 years old, and he’s one of the ambassadors of the traveling exhibition “33 Stories – One State-of-the-art Treatment.” This roadshow, which was organized by the German Association of University Clinics, is currently touring university hospitals all over Germany. It will open at the University Medical Center Mainz on September 4.

In the exhibition, patients tell their stories, briefly or at length, on life-sized photo posters. There are 33 stories altogether, told directly from 33 German university clinics. They are representative of the millions of people in Germany who place their trust in the top performance of German university medicine day after day. The stories are moving, because they offer personal insights into the patients’ lives. The exhibition will run from September 4 to 13 in the foyer of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Building 102, Langenbeckstraße 1, 55131 Mainz.

Pascal’s story will also be told there. He was one of the patients for whom the new ion-beam cancer therapy was considered viable. From 1997 to 2008, more than 440 patients with tumors of the head and neck were treated very successfully with ion beams at GSI’s accelerator facility as part of a pilot project. The advantage of this new therapy is that the ion beam selectively destroys tumors while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. The pilot project, which is now over, was conducted by GSI together with the Radiation Oncology Center at Heidelberg University Hospital, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. Since 2009, patients have routinely been treated with heavy ions at the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT). In November 2015 a second large treatment center for 12C ions and protons began operating in Germany with the opening of the Marburg Ion-Beam Therapy Center. On the basis of these very positive results, this form of therapy is now an accepted medical procedure. Further research will focus on applying the new treatment method to other tumors as well.

“Thanks to this therapy, I can lead a completely normal life today,” Pascal says. You can read his story here.

Pascal was treated at GSI.
Pascal is one of the patients who was treated with the tumor therapy developed at GSI. Here he presents his photo poster at the “33 Stories – One State-of-the-art Treatment” exhibition.
Photo: Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg