The uses of nuclear physics in anticancer treatments were the focus during the meeting on medical applications of the fifth generation of particle accelerators, which recently took place at Havana’s Hotel Nacional.

The uses of nuclear physics in anticancer treatments were the focus during the meeting on medical applications of the fifth generation of particle accelerators, which recently took place at Havana’s Hotel Nacional.Held for the first time in Cuba, the event Physics and Applications of High Brightness Beams gathered experts of universities from the United States, Europe and Latin America. They exchanged experiences with specialists from the Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technologies, and from medical entities such as the Medical-Surgical Research Center and Cuba’s National Oncology and Radio-biology Institute (INOR).

Several international institutions sponsor this workshop, including UNESCO and Italy’s National Nuclear Physics Institute (INFN).

Other sponsors include the International Committee for Future Accelerators, (ICFA) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Representing that university was the renowned academician Claudio Pellegrini, who was accompanied by other professors like Massimo Ferrario of the INFN.

Fidel Castro Smirnov, Cuban scientist who chairs the organizing committee for the event, praised the event’s importance as a space for training Cuban physics students and professionals.

Meanwhile, the head of UNESCO regional office, Katherine Muller, noted that it is important to create a network of exchanges among scientists that allows Cuba to show the progress attained in studies on nuclear physics.

Regarding this, a roundtable talk made known the positive results of the recent implementation in the country of intraoperative radiation therapy for treating breast cancer.

Using a lineal particle accelerator, the method is based on the local identification of the tumor without affecting the patient’s nearby areas, said INOR medical physicist Jorge Morales.

After an intense week of scientific activities, the last day of the international workshop analyzed the possibility and impact of creating a new particle accelerator in Cuba.

The proposal to have a machine like that in Cuba was made by U.S. James Rosernzweig, the event’s co-organizer and professor with the UCLA.

The particle accelerators are like huge microscopes used to study the matter and the universe, and to create laser materials that can be used in anticancer treatments and proton therapies.

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