What is SYRA3?



  • Radiotherapy and radiosurgery using synchrotron radiation is an emerging field: rapid growth following clinically oriented results is to be expected.
  • This research is intrinsically multidisciplinary: convergence of physicists, biologists, engineers, clinicians and researchers from seemingly unrelated specialties is required.
  • The current fragmentation of the field needs to be addressed. Groups have little or no funding for cooperation and exchange. In spite of this fact, spontaneous collaborations have arisen between some groups.
  • To reach clinical trials, dissemination and exploitation of results demand a concerted international and interdisciplinary effort.



The general objective is to coordinate a multidisciplinary network for developing synchrotron radiotherapy and radiosurgery to treat brain tumours and other diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). More specificic objectives are:

  • To develop a clinically oriented collaborative research network aiming at reaching the clinical application on human patients. SYRA3 will lead to new radiotherapy options for inoperable brain tumours in children and adults and to treat pharmaco-resistant CNS pathologies.
  • To harmonise and standardise methods, techniques and measurements. A variety of theoretical and experimental methods in computational and experimental dosimetry at the micron scale, dose delivery procedures are currently used. Harmonisation is essential for clinical implementation and potential industrial exploitation of these techniques.
  • To perform actions to disseminate the achieved results in the clinical practice. These include: (i) development and implementation of the techniques at the compact synchrotron sources under development around Europe; and (ii) the involvement of industry, particularly for developing X-ray sources adapted to SSRT and MRT, and to support and amplify the dissemination program.
  • To facilitate the easy integration and training of Early Stage Researchers (ESR) and clinicians.
  • To create a research network capable of participating in the EU FP7 and Horizon 2020 calls.


Expected outcome

The multidisciplinary work program includes elements that fit within different COST domains, namely: Biomedicine and Molecular Sciences (in-vitro and in-vivo experiments); Chemistry and Molecular Sciences (radiobiology investigations and the research of new dose enhancing drugs); Materials, Physics and Nanosciences (theoretical and applied physics research in microdosimetry, implementation of techniques at compact sources); and Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health (legal aspects related to clinical trials). The research requires the reciprocal interaction between these domains.

Bio-medical, social and economic impact

Cancer patients: new therapy protocols, improved survival rate/reduced secondary effects

Neurological patients: treatment of pharmaco-resistant epilepsy without the need of brain surgery; lesions X/10 size of Cyberknife



Compact sources developed in SYRA3: dissemination, mutual benefit, optimisation of resources

Standardisation of treatment planning for small fields


Industrial and commercial

Attracting investments from therapy and radiosurgery market leaders


Development of human resources

ESR formation of a new generation of clinicians and young researchers, by improving their communication abilities and their interdisciplinary technical skills