The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) has been a pioneer in international research on the effects of low dose radiation on the human body and the environment for many years. In Belgium, medical applications – mainly imaging but also radiotherapy – are responsible for more than 95% of exposure to unnatural sources of radiation.
“Research conducted at SCK•CEN is essential in order to get a better understanding of the effects of exposure, mainly for foetuses and children, and to reduce the radiation dose absorbed by the patient to a minimum”, explains Hans Vanmarcke, head of the Life Sciences department at SCK•CEN and Chair of the UNSCEAR, a scientific committee of the United Nations. “Thanks to these advances, we can evolve towards a personalized medicine where each and every patient is treated based on his genetic profile and his sensitivity to radiation. Consequently, cancer treatments become more efficient while causing less side effects.”
These studies enable the development of new radiopharmaceuticals for better diagnosis and better cancer therapy but also better therapy for immune, cardiovascular and neurocognitive diseases. Research which also gains altitude and uses space as its field of exploration.
From left to right
Eric van Walle, Director-General SCK•CEN
HRH Princess Astrid
Derrick Gosselin, Chairman of the Board of Governors SCK•CEN
Martial Pardoen, Government Commissioner