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PETITION - PET for InTensive Care units and Innovative protON therapy

Applicant Dissertori Günther
Number 189969
Funding scheme Sinergia
Research institution Institut für Teilchen- und Astrophysik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Interdisciplinary
Start/End 01.09.2020 - 29.02.2024
Approved amount 2'798'447.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Internal Medicine
Technical Physics
Clinical Cancer Research

Keywords (7)

radio oncology; nuclear medicine; medical imaging; proton therapy; positron emission tomography; intensive care unit; sepsis

Lay Summary (German)

Das interdisziplinäre Projekt PETITION hat zum Ziel, neue Anwendungen für einen kompakten Positronen-Emissions-Tomographen zu studieren.
Lay summary
Das interdisziplinäre Projekt PETITION hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, zwei kompakte Positronen-Emissions-Tomographie (PET) Scanner zu entwickeln und neuartige Anwendungen dieser Technologie zu evaluieren.
Eine dieser Anwendungen betrifft einen erstmaligen Einsatz eines PET Scanners in der Intensivstation eines Krankenhauses - d.h. das Ziel ist es, den Scanner zum Patienten zu bringen, da der umgekehrte Weg aufgrund des typischerweise kritischen Zustandes der Patienten nicht praktikabel ist. Dies würde erstmals ermöglichen, gewisse Hirnprozesse vor Ort auf der Intensivstation zu untersuchen, wie z.B. jene, welche bei Sepsis auftreten. Die entsprechende Studie wird am Universitätsspital Lausanne durchgeführt, in Zusammenarbeit mit Wissenschaftlern und Wissenschaftlerinnen der ETH Zürich, welche den Scanner entwickeln.
Eine zweite Anwendung betrifft den Einsatz des PET Scanners zur direkten Beobachtung und Verbesserung der Auswirkungen von Protonenbestrahlung zur Tumorbekämpfung. Diese Studie wird am Paul-Scherrer-Institut durchgeführt werden, wiederum in Zusammenarbeit mit dem ETH Team, und verspricht wichtige neue Einsichten und langfristig relevante Verbesserungen dieser Art von Tumor-Therapie. 
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 07.07.2020

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Project partner

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
109986 Quantitative myocardial blood flow measurement with generator-based Rubidium-82 cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) - Study of genotype and phenotype effects of paraoxonase 1 on coronary vasomotion 01.10.2005 Project funding (Div. I-III)
177165 MEMS based Gamma Ray Detectors for Time-of-Flight Positron Emission Tomography 01.09.2018 Sinergia
150837 MicroSPECT/PET/CT for preclinical molecular imaging 01.12.2013 R'EQUIP
175430 Design and development of a meta-structured detector head with ultimate energy and time resolution for sub-100ps TOF-PET 01.07.2017 International short research visits
179069 The future of radiomics: understanding, Validating and Increasing the Specificity of Imaging Biomarkers for personaLizEd medicine (VISIBLE) 01.09.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)
173675 BIO-AX-TBI 01.09.2017 ERA-NET NEURON
176241 Chest imaging under high frequency percussive ventilation 01.02.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)
143780 Early electrophysiological correlates of brain injury and outcome in comatose patients after cardiac arrest 01.03.2013 Interdisciplinary projects
197084 Exploitation and Upgrades of the CMS experiment at the LHC: the next phase 01.11.2020 Project funding (Div. I-III)


PETITION (PET for InTensive Care units and Innovative protON therapy) is a multidisciplinary initiative with the aim to develop and validate new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) applications. First, Sepsis is a severe (multi-)organ dysfunction induced by a body reaction to infection. About 30 million people are affected yearly in the world, which results in an estimated 6 million deaths. It is worldwide a leading cause of death. The World Health Organization and others consider it a top priority target for medical improvements. We want to make previously unfeasible functional neuro-nuclear brain imaging for intensive care unit (ICU) patients possible by bringing the PET scanner to the patient. By introducing this imaging modality in the ICU with a clinical study, we aim for changing the way patients can be monitored, and treated optimally.Second, proton therapy is a radio-oncology modality, employing precise Pencil Proton Beams for a flexible and precise irradiation treatment against cancer. We propose a study of full-scale, high-sensitivity, on-line PET imaging of beam activation to enhance the precision of treatment delivery. Furthermore, we will tap into biologically PET-guided proton therapy with tumour functional hypoxia tracking and with on-line tumour motion tracking with an extensive exploratory in-silico study. These studies may enable significant advances in adaptive proton therapy.Building upon our previous and ongoing PET scanner developments, we will create two high-performance PETITION scanners. Fully exploiting a compact modular design, both PETITION scanners for the aforementioned projects will be tailored to the needs of our clinicians and their patients. By helping clinicians to provide image guided diagnoses and treatments, we want to push the boundaries of healthcare in our specialties. Our vision is that, in the future, our proposed PET applications become not only possible, but also become clinical routine, available to everyone.