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COST-ENLIGHT Workshop on Hadron (Particle) Therapy

Location Geneva, Switzerland
Date 03 - 04 May 2007
Calendar file .vcs  .ics

The COST Strategic Workshop on “Cancer treatment and hadrons: Powerful tools for an advanced, effective treatment on cancer” took place in Geneva on 3 and 4 May 2007 at the “Globe of Science and Innovation” of CERN (Coopération Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire- European Cooperation for Nuclear Research).

The Workshop was the result of the collaboration between the COST Domain of Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences (BMBS) and the European Network for Research in Light-Ion Hadron Therapy (ENLIGHT), a network established back in 2002 to promote the use of hadron particles for cancer therapy. A hadron, in particle physics, is a subatomic particle which experiences the nuclear force. These are not fundamental particles but are composed of fermions, called quarks and antiquarks, and of bosons, called gluons.

In his welcome speech, the Director General of CERN, Mr Robert Aymar, commented on the importance of continuing particle research and establishing hadron therapy as a cancer treatment modality and pointed at the role of the CERN as an international organisation in supporting such initiatives. He added that there is an increased need for networking activities in order to develop a pan-European platform dedicated to the advancement of all aspects of hadron therapy and thanked COST for strongly supporting this event.

Professor Francesco Fedi, President of COST, in his address to the participants, underlined the fact that COST was the first “networking” instrument on a European level to bring scientists together. Professor Fedi mentioned that this workshop materialized under the strategic scope of COST, through which COST provides an outreach to the scientific community, promotes interdisciplinarity, raises awareness on forefront scientific topics and creates the basis for future partnerships between COST Action scientists and world experts, towards achieving a strong ERA. In the case of ENLIGHT, a pre-established network, he mentioned that COST is proud to have collaborated with this community on the important topic of hadron therapy where Europe can become a leading world expert.

The success of the workshop was confirmed by the participation of more than 120 scientists of the ENLIGHT network, members of the COST BMBS Domain Committee and COST Actions, as well as both Science Officers from the European Commission and the European Patent Office (EPO) and representatives of companies developing gantries for hadron therapy.

The workshop was concluded by short overview talks by Professor Ugo Amaldi, one of the key figures in the field of hadron therapy, and by Dr. Maximillian Metzger, Secretary General of CERN.

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