ESR 1: Understanding biology of hyperthermia in the context of cancer treatment via multi-omics approach.

Host: Dr. Przemek M. Krawczyk

Recruiting organisation: Amsterdam University Medical centers, location AMC, Department of Medical Biology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Duration: 48 months

In the past, various targets of hyperthermia cancer treatment, such as the DNA damage network, have been revealed, studied and linked to individual clinically-relevant responses. In this project, the PhD candidate will depart from this historical approach and instead attempt to globally understand the biology of hyperthermia using state-of-the-art multi-omics approaches, such as high-throughput CRISPR and drug screening, mass spectrometry, gene expression and epigenome analysis. This comprehensive approach will be then focused to reveal how hyperthermia and heat stress responses interfere with the biology of particular clinical treatments, including radiotherapy and chemotherapy. [Full project description].

 

ESR 2: Normal tissue damage after radiation and hyperthermia

Host: Professor Michael R. Horsman

Recruiting organisation: Aarhus University

Experimental Clinical Oncology-Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Palle Juul-Jensens Blvd. 99, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will investigate the effect of the heating time and temperature, and the time interval and sequence of between radiation (photons and protons) and hyperthermia on the response of various murine normal tissues. The aim will be to establish how these parameters influence radiation response in both early and late responding normal tissues and what physiological and molecular factors influence that response. [Full project description].

 

ESR 3: Tumor pathophysiology and the response to radiation and hyperthermia

Host: Professor Michael R. Horsman

Recruiting organisation: Aarhus University

Experimental Clinical Oncology-Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Palle Juul-Jensens Blvd. 99, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will investigate the relationship between various tumor pathophysiological parameters (e.g., the tumor vasculature, blood flow, and hypoxia) on the interaction between radiation (photons and protons) and hyperthermia. The aim will be to establish how these parameters influence the interaction and how they relate to outcome in a number of different murine and human tumor models. [Full project description].

 

ESR 4: Elucidate the effects and reveal mechanisms of hyperthermia in combination with radiotherapy on the innate and adaptive immune system in pre-clinical model systems

Host: Prof. Udo Gaipl

Recruiting organisation: Universitätsklinikum Erlangen (UKER), Department of Radiation Oncology, Universitätsstr. 27, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will investigate the immune effects of temperature, timing & sequence of combination treatments of hyperthermia (HT) and radiotherapy (RT) in pre-clinical in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo model systems. This will include analyses of activation and viability stage of immune cells themselves after the respective treatments and detailed analyses of the immune phenotype of cancer cells as well as characterization of the tumor microenvironment after HT and/or RT. [Full project description].

 

ESR 5: Model-based Data Analysis of Radio-sensitization by Hyperthermia in Combination with Radiotherapy

Host: Prof. Dr. Stephan Scheidegger

Recruiting organisation: Zurich University of Applied Sciences, ZHAW School of Engineering,Technikumstrasse 9, CH-8401 Winterthur, Switzerland.

Duration: 36 months

The Ph.D. candidate will investigate experimental data from different types of in vitro and in vivo assays regarding the radio-sensitizing effect of combined treatments with radiation and heat by a model-based approach. This includes the adaption of existing radiobiological models and data analysis framework, mathematical modeling of radiobiological assays and specific aspects of radiation- and heat-induced cellular (or systemic) response (in vitro and in vivo) as well as a systematic comparison between the different models with the aim of establishing a mathematical model which can be integrated into a clinical treatment planning system for radiation combined with heat. [Full project description].

 

ESR 6: Advanced optimisation strategies for hyperthermia combined with radiotherapy

Host:Dr. H. Petra Kok

Recruiting organisation: Amsterdam University Medical centers, location AMC, Department of Radiation Oncology, Meibergdreef 9, 1105AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Duration: 48 months

The PhD candidate will investigate and develop reliable optimization strategies for patient-specific treatment planning taking into account the synergistic and complementary actions of radiotherapy combined with hyperthermia as mathematically formalized by ESR5. The advanced optimization strategies will be suitable for both pretreatment planning and for re-optimization during treatment using available invasive/non-invasive tumor temperature feedback data (ESR7). Results will be implemented in the clinical interface developed by ESR8. [Full project description].

 

ESR 7: MR thermometry feedback-based planning

Host: Dr. Sennewald

Recruiting organisation:Dr. Sennewald Medizintechnik GmbH, Schatzbogen 86, 81829 Munich, Germany.

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will work on benchmarking and techniques to enhance 3D noisy MR thermometry images to higher accuracy levels. This PhD project will be conducted within leading industry and academic medical centers in a strongly multidisciplinary setting. [Full project description]

 

ESR 8: Clinical user interface for hyperthermia treatment planning system

Host: Eng. Silvia Ciampa and Dr. H. Petra Kok

Recruiting organisation:Medlogix Srl, via A. Olivetti 24, Rome, Italy.

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will develop the clinical user interface for the radiotherapy (RT) + hyperthermia (HT) treatment planning system including all facilities of existing HT and RT planning systems extended with additional features, which will include tools for handling imaging data sets, tumor delineation, temperature reconstruction, adaptive planning and computation of the biologically equivalent dose of the combined treatment.[Full project description]

 

ESR 9: Quality Assurance protocols for advanced level hyperthermia systems

Host:Professor Hana Dobsicek Trefna

Recruiting organisation: Chalmers University of Technology, Dept. Electrical Engineering, Hörsalsvägen 11, 412 96 Göteborg, Sweden.

Duration: 48 months

The ultimate aim of this PhD project is compilation of new Quality Assurance guidelines for clinical hyperthermia. You will link the properties of diverse applicators to realistic heating patterns in human anatomy based on advanced personalized hyperthermia treatment planning algorithms. You will analyse performance of the current clinical systems but also investigate the new systems for delicate heat delivery in difficult to heat regions such as brain or head and neck. Understanding of the higher performance level of the new applicators will serve as a starting point to formulate the new clinical standards whose implementation will be supported by hospitals participating in the consortium. [Full project description].

 

ESR 10: 

Host: Professor Gerard van Rhoon

Recruiting organisation: Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will develop a data template tool for reporting clinical treatment dose parameters. The challenge is in defining a template that correctly summarize radiation and thermal dose parameters and is easy to apply in multi-center clinical trials. Hence it should facilitate a large variations in data formats. Ultimately, the data will be reduced to a single biological equivalent radiation dose parameter correlating with treatment outcome.[Full project description].

 

ESR 11: Monitoring immune effects of hyperthermia in multimodal settings with radiotherapy in patients and definition of prognostic and predictive markers

Host: Benjamin Frey

Recruiting organisation: Universitätsklinikum Erlangen (UKER), Department of Radiation Oncology, Universitätsstr. 27, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will identify, test and validate immune biomarkers for prediction and prognosis of tumor patients who are treated with local hyperthermia in multimodal settings including radiotherapy. Correlation analyses with imaging data identified in other projects of Hyperboost will be performed. Biobanking will be optimized and complementary analyses to the pre-clinical models of immune factors in serum of patients will be conducted. [Full project description].

 

ESR 12: Development of Novel Technology for Monitoring Radiofrequency Heating by Non-invasive Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Host: Prof. Dr. Thoralf Niendorf

Recruiting organisation: Max-Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F.), Robert Rössle Strasse 10,13125 Berlin, Germany.

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will identify, develop, evaluate, validate and apply MRI technology for monitoring the effect of radiofrequency (RF) induced hyperthermia (HT) on the hot spot size and dynamics, tissue haemodynamics and oxygenation including hypoxia. Ensuring a patient and problem-oriented adaptation of the size, uniformity and location of the RF energy deposition in the target region is highly relevant for the thermal intervention; with the focal point quality being governed by the radiation pattern of the single RF transmit element, the RF channel count and the thermal intervention radiofrequency of the RF applicator and with the effect of RF induced hyperthermia being monitored with MRI for imaging guidance of HT. The expected outcome of the project are rapid MR techniques suitable for monitoring effect of radiation therapy and hyperthermia. [Full project description]

 

ESR 13: Clinical application and evaluation

Host: Professor Peter Wust

Recruiting organisation: Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Radiation Oncology, Interdisciplinary high frequency research group, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will investigate and promote the combined use of radiofrequency hyperthermia and radiation therapy in the conduction of clinical trials supported by high-level treatment planning and quality assurance. The aim will be to establish how these two modalities gain optimized outcomes and to improve existing treatment approaches for several cancer entities, and ultimately to apply the optimized treatment approaches in prospective European multi-centric clinical studies. [Full project description]

 

ESR 14: Analysis of thermal enhancement parameters from clinical studies

Host:Prof. Oliver Riesterer

Recruiting organisation: Kantonsspital Aarau, Aarau and University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Rämistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.

Duration: 36 months

The PhD candidate will analyze retrospective and prospective hyperthermia patient data from multi-institutional clinical registration studies and extract thermal enhancement parameters for correlation with clinical outcomes. Using the data, the candidate will derive outcome predictors for the modeling of algorithms implemented in a hyperthermia treatment planning system. The derived clinical outcome predictors will also be compared with the results derived from preclinical research. [Full project description].