media release

Setting the Standard

The winner of this year's Akzo Nobel Science Award is Swedish professor Anders Brahme.

The winner of the 2003 Akzo Nobel Science Award has been announced.

The EUR 50,000 prize has gone to Swede Anders Brahme, a professor of medical radiation physics who has been recognized for his research into radiation treatment for cancer patients.

In naming him as the winner of this year’s award, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences—who present the honor funded by a donationfrom Akzo Nobel—praised Brahme for his “unique research achievements in radiation therapy physics and his combination of basic research, applied research and interaction with industry.”

Every year, 46,000 new cases of cancer are discovered in Sweden, with half of all cancer patients receiving radiation treatment. Professor Brahme has contributed to our ability today to limit radiation to the tumor, reduce side-effects for the patient and cure more people. These methods have become internationally recognized and are the clinical standard worldwide.

Using inter-disciplinary methods—embracing physics, radiobiology, medicine, technology, molecular biology and mathematics—he has been a leader in the development of radiation treatment techniques since the 1970s. This research has led to the development of a number of companies connected with radiation treatment.

“With our methods, we get complication-free tumor control, without damage to healthy tissue,” says Brahme.

“During the past year, my research team at Karolinska Institute has also begun to understand what kills cells in conjunction with radiation therapy. The best results and highest accuracy are achieved with a new method using light ions.”

This opens up the future possibility of curing many more people than today at the same cost per patient, with only ten radiotherapy appointments for the patient. Today 30 are needed.

Set up in 1970 and awarded alternately in Sweden and the Netherlands, the Akzo Nobel Science Award is presented annually to a team or individual in recognition of pioneering and boundary-breaking scientific research.

The 2003 award will be presented to Professor Brahme inStockholm on March 20.

(Released: February 28, 2003)

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