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A first for Switzerland: proton therapy to treat lung cancer

Today, PRISMAP partner Paul Scherrer institute (PSI) and the Radio-Oncology Centre of the Cantonal Hospitals of Aarau and Baden treated the first lung cancer patient with protons as part of an international prospective randomised clinical trial.

A 60-year-old patient suffering from lung cancer received proton beam therapy, a medical procedure where positively charged particles are precisely targeted at the tumour. This is the first time this type of radiotherapy has been used for lung cancer treatment in Switzerland. The 7-week course of treatment is part of an international clinical trial in which the PSI and cantonal hospitals in Aarau are taking part. The PSI already has a wealth of experience in proton therapy and has been successfully treating patients with tumours in the head and neck area, as well as the torso, since 1996. The purpose of the clinical trial is to explore another medical indication: inoperable lung tumours. Medics expect this much less aggressive but more precise form of radiotherapy will have fewer secondary effects on healthy lung tissue and the heart.