Particle accelerators which allow the progress of Fundamental Science can also find applications in areas of ordinary life. Stefano Buono, an “alumnus “of CERN has founded with initial support of CERN a small company “Advanced Accelerator Applications” focusing on Nuclear Medicine. The latter uses drugs containing radioactive isotopes that can diagnose and cure illnesses such as cancer. The initial success of a medication including Fluorine 18 (with a half-life of 8 hours) was the “cash cow” allowing to fund researches which have led to the introduction of Lutathéra, an agent active against prostate cancer. This has led to giant Novartis acquiring the company with the intent to follow a promising “pipeline” leading to further treatments.
To learn more about it, here is the presentation of Stefano Buono: Physics and Medicine: the present and the future of Theragnostics (March 14th 2018 – Public conference in Geneva – MEDICIS-Promed)