Diagnosis & Treatment
General Oncology

Proton therapy at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland - video

Proton therapy at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland - video

The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerland

The worldwide first compact scanning gantry for the irradiation of deep-seated tumors with proton beam is operated by the Center for Proton Therapy (CPT) at PSI.

The spot-scanning technique developed at PSI has made it possible to irradiate malignant tumors situated deep inside in the body with extremely high precision and to successfully stop their growth, while sparing the healthy tissues surrounding the target. 

Patient treatment at PSI has a long tradition.

Patients with certain cancer diseases have been able to benefit from treatment with proton beams since as early as 1984.

Protons are particularly suitable for the treatment of children and adolescents.

A close collaboration with the University Children's Hospital in Zürich has made it possible since 2004 to treat very young children under sedation here at PSI. 

At present, one treatment unit is equipped for the irradiation of ocular tumors, and Gantry 1 and Gantry 2 are equipped for the irradiation of deep-seated tumors.

A third Gantry started patient operation mid of July 2018. 

The optimal delivery of treatment to the benefit of our patients is one of the main goals of the CPT. Another goal equally as beneficial to our patients is the continuous research and further development of innovative treatment concepts. The achievement of these goals is greatly enhanced by the CPT's unique position embedded in the infrastructure of the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland's largest research facility. 

Research & Development

The Center for Proton Therapy (CPT) at PSI is the world leader in the development and clinical implementation of Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS) and Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT), both of which have been pioneered at our institute. Research and development remains at the core of our center, and we continue to work towards the introduction of new clinical indications and innovative therapy concepts for proton therapy.

As such, our current research covers the following topics: 

Advanced scanning developments

- Fast scanning and rescanning
- Continuous line scanning
- Volumetric scanning
- Detector and control system developments

Treatment planning

- Robustness analysis
- Automated planning
- 4D dose calculations and optimization

Motion mitigation and 4D planning

- Modeling and experimental verification of 4D treatments
- 4D imaging
- Gating, rescanning and tracking

Image guided and adaptive proton therapy

- Image guidance for proton therapy
- Adaptive therapy
- In-vivo range verification

As well as being pursued by PSI staff, our research program is strongly supported by post-doctoral, PhD, master and bachelor students from Switzerland and all over the world, as well as being supported by a number of grants and industrial collaborations.


Paul Scherrer Institut
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI

Phone: +41 56 310 21 11
Fax: +41 56 310 21 99

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