European Inventor Award 2013 - Yves Jongen (Lifetime Achievement)

Type: Documentary   Référence: I077959   Durée: 03:55  Lieu: Belgium
In the fight against cancer, proton radiation offers a far more targeted and gentle alternative to X-rays, which can cause significant damage to healthy cells and lose intensity on their way through the body. Engineer Yves Jongen greatly advanced proton therapy for cancer and made it available to a much larger number of people. To reduce the cost and boost the use of proton therapy, he pioneered the construction of a compact and efficient version of the proton-generating device called the ‘cyclotron', which was designed for clinical and therapeutic use.

Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
PDF version

00:00:00 The figures are alarming. Throughout the world, more and more people are suffering from cancer. According to experts, there will be more than 22 million new cases until the year 2030. 00:00:14
00:00:14 Many cancer patients have high hopes for the proton therapy, an improved form of the irradiation. The advantage: it's much safer than commonly used radiation therapy. 00:00:15
00:00:29 This is one of the pioneers in this field: Yves Jongen. The Belgian researcher and engineer builds treatment centers throughout the world and he has made proton therapy available to the public. For this achievement, he has now been nominated for the European Inventor Award. 00:00:20
00:00:49 IV Yves Jongen in French« Mes vingt dernières années de ma vie à développer la proton thérapie. La proton thérapie c'est un peu l'uvre de ma vie et j'ai passé des centaines d'heures à genou dans cette machine à changer des pièces, à essayer qu'elle marche un peu mieux, en faire quelque chose de tout à fait fiable. Donc cette machine c'est vraiment mon bébé. » Translation"I've spent the last 20 years of my life, optimizing proton therapy. It is my life's work. I have spent countless hours sitting here, changing various things to improve this machine. This is really my baby." 00:00:17
00:01:06 When Jongen began to deal with protons in the 70s, it was clear to him: this is the future of cancer treatment as protons have a decisive advantage over the traditional X-ray radiation. 00:00:15
00:01:21 IV Yves Jongen in French« Voilà le traitement d'aujourd'hui avec les rayons x. Vous allez traiter la tumeur, vous allez le sauver, mais son cerveau va être endommagé. Le même traitement avec les protons. Toute la dose est dans la tumeur. Il n'y a pas de dose dans le cerveau. C'est tellement mieux. »Translation"Here we can see treatment of a tumor with x-rays. They damage the brain as well as the tumor and the damage is irreparable. If I irradiate the tumor with just protons, the brain is spared the radiation, and this is much better!" 00:00:16
00:01:37 GRAFIKHere's how proton therapy works: the proton beams are fired at the patient's body at a speed of 650 kilometers per hour. With magnets, they can be steered accurately targeting and destroying tumors in deep tissue by damaging the DNA of tumor cells. 00:00:21
00:01:58 As Jongen begins his research, proton therapy was still in its infancy and it was priceless. His first big milestone: the cyclone 30, which he developed, as seen here in this model. This is the prototype used for diagnosis. 00:00:17
00:02:15 IV Yves Jongen in French« La difficulté qu'on a eu au début c'est que cette machine était tellement différente de ce à quoi les utilisateurs de cyclotrons étaient habitués, que personne ne pouvait croire que ça allait marcher. Ils pensaient qu'on était fou. Et on a eu besoin d'un prototype qui marchait pour pouvoir les convaincre. »Translation"When we introduced the idea, it was so novel that no one believed it. Everyone thought we were crazy. So it needed a working prototype to demonstrate to future customers that it really worked." 00:00:15
00:02:30 Although the prototype was far from ready for the market, Jongen did not give up until he created a model that was affordable. One that would usher in a new era in cancer treatment! 00:00:13
00:02:43 IV Yves Jongen in French« Si on veut rendre la proton thérapie accessible pour beaucoup plus de patients, il faut que les systèmes soient plus petits il faut qu'ils soient moins chers. Et ce cyclotron est en train de faire exactement ça. »Translation"In order to make proton therapy accessible to more people, we have had to build a device that was smaller and cheaper. That's what we've done with this model!" 00:00:14
00:02:57 And the demand is growing. Worldwide there are millions of people suffering from cancer. In Yves Jongen's proton therapy centers more than 20.000 patients have been treated. But for Jongen every single individual counts. 00:00:19
00:03:16 IV Yves Jongen in French« Et bien quand je me trouve dans un centre de proton thérapie et je vois les patients traités avec un système comme celui-ci on se sent vraiment bien de ce qu'on a fait. C'est tout une équipe et on se sent bien. Et c'est spécialement le cas quand ce sont des enfants qui sont traités. »Translation"When I even go to a treatment center and see patients being treated, it makes me happy. And I am particularly moved when children are treated with this technology." 00:00:16
00:03:32 No one knows how many people's lives will be saved by Yves Jongen's invention. But one thing is for sure: we will see if his invention brings him the "Technology Oscar" on 28th of May. That's when the Inventor Award of the European Patent Office will be awarded in Amsterdam. 00:00:21
00:03:53 End 00:00:00
Audiovisual Service
European Commission
Terms of use
© European Union, 2018