CERN-MEDICIS (Medical Isotopes Collected from ISOLDE) is a unique facility that will use proton beams from ISOLDE, CERN’s nuclear physics facility (which is 50 years old this year) solely for the purpose of producing non-conventional radioisotopes for medical research. These will be shipped for use in hospitals and research centres in Switzerland and across Europe.
Radioisotopes are already widely used by the medical community, for imaging, diagnostics and radiation therapy. However many of the isotopes currently in use are not entirely suitable for the imaging process nor can they target tumours accurately enough. CERN-MEDICIS which entered the commissioning phase in September aims at producing weekly batches of a huge range of innovation isotopes that more accurately meet the needs of medical professionals.
Initiated in 2010 by CERN with contributions from the CERN Knowledge Transfer Fund, private foundations and partner institutes, and also benefitting from a European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie training grant titled MEDICIS-Promed, MEDICIS is driven by CERN’s Isotope Mass Separator Online (ISOLDE) facility, which has been running for 50 years. In September 2017 CERN-MEDICIS entered the commissioning phase, and produced its first isotopes on 12 December 2017.