Read the article on Swiss Startup Guide 2020/2021

Making Proton Therapy for Cancer Treatments safer

Geneva medtech Terapet, is developing “ProtonPET”, a novel detector for dose localization for proton therapy during cancer treatments.

Terapet is developing a novel medical device that will be the eyes of doctors during proton therapy. The objective is to provide cancer patients with a safer, more precise, and time-saving therapy. The idea was born in 2018, when co-founders Christina Vallgren and Marcus Palm, two CERN physicists who have also been working on the design of a proton therapy facility in Austria, were discussing different possibilities of the therapy, and whether patients could benefit from the technological development taking place at CERN. Shortly after being incubated at Geneus in 2019, Prof. Raymond Miralbell, former head of radio-oncology department at HUG and current medical director at the first Proton Therapy Center in Madrid, joined as co-founder.

Proton Therapy is an advanced radiotherapy using protons to treat cancer with extreme precision. However, there is still no commercial real-time in-vivo dose localization system available, and no precise information available on where the protons arrive inside the patient. Terapet is developing “ProtonPET”, a novel detector for dose localization during treatments. By detecting gamma-rays – a by-product from the treatment itself – at unprecedented precision, the location of the delivered dose can be monitored simultaneously with the treatment with less side-effects.

The company who won the Swiss BIC of CERN in 2019 and benefits from the support of Fongit, Innosuisse, Venture Kick and the FIT Foundation is set to complete its first full-scale prototype for validation and benchmarking in a clinical environment with therapeutic proton beams. This will be a key milestone toward CE-certification of its first commercial device. The vision is to see the ProtonPET being a standard tool in proton therapy facilities all over the globe.