ESR 7: MR thermometry feedback-based planning

PhD research

Host: Dr. Sennewald

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

Collaboration with; Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Duration: 36 months

Background

MR thermometry is the only three-dimensional, non-invasive method used in clinical practice to measure temperatures during hyperthermia treatments. Using the temperature-dependent shift of the proton resonance frequency (PRF) the temperature changes are calculated from MRI phase images. Motion artifacts and noisy data are currently limiting the value of the created 3D temperature maps.

Approach 

The PhD candidate will be responsible for development and benchmarking of imaging and computational methods for reconstructing true 3D temperature distribution from noisy MR imaging data. Sparse invasive and 3D non-invasive (MR) thermometry data will be compared and merged with predicted temperature distributions from calculated models. Novel MRI scanning approaches will be assessed and optimized to enhance image data quality by focusing on known artefacts. The candidate will start to work on benchmarks for easy (e. g. extremities) and difficult (e. g. pelvis, abdomen) to monitor regions. The benchmarks will be used to compare the clinical MR thermometry performance using the newly developed technology. The last step entails the development of thermal and biological-effective doses for radiotherapy and hyperthermia reporting based on the reconstruction in collaboration with other ESRs.

Our research team

Dr. Gerhard Sennewald (industrial mentor)

Martin Wadepohl (Co-PI – medical engineer)

Gerard van Rhoon (PI - Erasmus MC – Professor)

Maarten Paulides (Erasmus MC and Eindhoven University – Associate Professor)

Steffen Eisenhardt (biophysicist)

Franziska Hartmann (mathematician)

Mostafa Bakry (RF engineer)

Your experience

  • Candidates should have a Master’s degree in biophysics or medical engineering or similar
  • Experience with medical imaging
  • Experience in (matlab/python) programming and optimization methods
  • Basic medical knowledge and experience with MRI imaging
  • Strong analytical and mathematical skills
  • Excellent higher education track record and strong scientific curiosity
  • Fluent spoken and written English skills

In addition, the following experience would be helpful, but not essential:

  • Experience in or affinity with thermal therapies
  • Experience writing scientific papers
  • Deeper knowledge in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

We seek a highly motivated scientist who enjoys an interdisciplinary environment and an interdisciplinary project, able to work independently but also as part of a team. The candidate is willing to work part-time abroad.

Our offer

This 3-year PhD candidate position is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 955625.  You will be appointed as fulltime PhD candidate for 3 years with Dr. Sennewald Medizintechnik. Your PhD will be co-hosted and awarded by Erasmus MR Cancer Institute (Rotterdam, The Netherlands). The Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) program offers a highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. The successful candidates will receive a salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. Exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment [Living Allowance = €37.320/year (correction factor to be applied per country) + Monthly mobility allowance = €600. An additional monthly allowance of €500 is applicable depending on family situation. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

Your application

See recruitment procedure. You can apply using the online application form. For more information about the position you can contact Martin Wadepohl (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +49 89 54 21 43 10) and Gerard Van Rhoon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +31 10 704 14 70)

Dr. Sennewald Medizintechnik GmbH

Dr. Sennewald Medizintechnik was founded with the aim of discovering innovative and beneficial cancer therapies and we have since amassed over 30 years of experience in regional and local hyperthermia. Our aim is to help improve the range of products on offer, to support the growth of this proven technology and so increase the survival rate among cancer patients.

To help us achieve this goal, we have entered into a long-term partnership with the pioneers and world leaders, Pyrexar Medical, to further develop the manufacture of hyperthermia systems. These high-quality medical devices are designed for maximum efficacy combined with minimum risk for greater patient comfort and are installed in oncology departments, research organizations and leading universities throughout Europe.

Our software team has developed SigmaVision® - a CE-marked software package for MR thermometry. Research projects in hyperthermia treatment planning as well as in antenna design are ongoing. In cooperation with university research groups we are involved in developing technology for hyperthermia research in cell cultures and animals.

The success of Dr. Sennewald Medizintechnik GmbH is a result of continuity. We are able to draw on our many years of experience for our in-depth knowledge of customers’ clinical requirements and of the precise technical specifications for all the hyperthermia systems we offer. In addition, our teams of engineers, technicians and software developers remain as close to customers as possible, offering support in the planning, installation and set-up of the systems, as well as after-sales service.

Erasmus MC Cancer Institute

The Erasmus MC is an innovative and independent Academic Center for high-quality medical research, education and care. The Erasmus MC is one of the top Dutch research institutions. It provides top Academic health care for a region of about five million inhabitants. The complete spectrum of medicine is offered, from disease to health and from individual to public healthcare. Erasmus MC is the largest medical school in the Netherlands, with 3.600 medical students and 220 PhD graduations. It offers BSc, MSc and PhD programs to train the next generation of medical practitioners and researchers. Together, the students and near 13,000 employees of the Erasmus MC improve individual patient care and work on public health of tomorrow.

The hyperthermia group, dept. Radiation Oncology, has a longstanding international recognition for its contribution to clinical implementation of thermal therapies. An active cooperation exists between the depts of Radiation Oncology and Radiology.