7T MRI group
Radiology, UMC Utrecht
We are looking for an excellent candidate with a master’s degree in the area of medicine, physics, biomedical engineering, biomedical sciences, or medical technology. The candidate should have a strong interest in medical imaging and a high affinity to work with patients.
Dienstverband Tijdelijke aanstelling
Duur tijdelijk dienstverband 4 jaar
Salarisschaal schaal OIO's
This research project is funded by Alpe d’ Huzes and the consortium consists of experts from 3 academic hospitals; the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU), the Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC) and the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC). During the project, close collaboration between these sites will be persued. Patients from these academic hospitals as well as peripheral hospitals will enroll in the study.
The 7Tesla MRI group
The PhD candidate will be integrated in the 7 Tesla MRI group of the department of Radiology of the University Medical Centre Utrecht. This group develops new MRI methods and applications. The group is headed by prof. Luijten and includes senior MRI physicists and a dynamic group of PhD students with different international backgrounds. Successful candidates can expect to work with a highly ambitious, creative and international team of PhD students, post-docs, tenured staff and research assistants.
Saving breast cancer patients from ineffective cytotoxic treatment
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) has become an important treatment strategy for breast cancer as it can downstage tumors and render them operable and/or can enable breast conserving surgery. A complete NAC treatment usually takes several months, but not all patients respond well to NAC and only a minority of patients (less than 30%) achieves a complete or optimal response. Therefore, it is important to assess response to treatment timely, so that the oncologist can change drugs, not only to avoid unnecessary drug related toxic side effects but also to allow other therapy/drugs to work sooner or more effectively. Accurate disease staging before and early after the start of NAC is very important to select those patients suitable for breast conserving surgeries without subjecting them to high risk of recurrence and metastatic spread (5-10%) during the remaining course of NAC treatment as the primary tumor is left in situ.
It is likely that changes on a metabolic and functional level of the tissue will precede anatomical changes and, therefore, with functional imaging techniques responses can be observed prior to changes in size, often already after the first cycle of chemotherapy. Non-invasive functional and metabolic imaging of the breast will be performed using novel MRI and MRS techniques at the highest available magnetic field strength of 7 Tesla to obtain the highest sensitivity and specificity of detecting endogenous markers in the tumor tissue. Parameters such as tissue vascularization, cell density, acidity, and cell proliferation will be extracted from the MRI and MRS measurements before the start of NAC and after the first cycle of NAC. The relation between these parameters and the pathological outcome of the patient after the completed NAC will be used to find biomarkers early on in the course of treatment that are predictive for treatment response.
Minimum opleidingsniveau Academisch
Maximum opleidingsniveau Post-academisch
•A master's degree in the area of medicine, physics, biomedical engineering, biomedical sciences, or medical technology.
•A strong affinity to work in an interdisciplinary team, communicating with medical experts and physicists.
•A strong interest to work with and desire to understand new MR technologies.
•A strong affinity to work with patients.
•Willing to travel between contributing sites.
•Capable to manage patients flow.
•Being flexible related to working activities, a patient may enroll in the study at any time and you have to be able to anticipate on that.
•Experience with statistics and large databases (SPSS).
•Programming skills (Matlab).
•Good English fluency and writing skills.
Mevrouw dr. ir. J.P. Wijnen
088 75 51353