ESR 13: Clinical application and evaluation

PhD research

Host: Professor Peter Wust

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

Duration: 36 months

Background

Pre-clinical and clinical studies in different tumors have clearly shown enhancement of radiation response by elevated temperature e.g. radiofrequency hyperthermia. However, open questions remain regarding the applicability and effectiveness radiofrequency hyperthermia in certain body areas e.g. deep seated tumors. Likewise, hyperthermia is competing with other radiosensitizers such as chemotherapy due to the wider availability of the latter such as in cervical cancer. The disadvantage of scarcer availability of hyperthermia systems can only be solved by setting up pan-European multicentric clinical trials. Such trials require sophisticated treatment planning solutions and high level quality assurance to overcome technical limitations of currently available hyperthermia devices.

Approach 

The clinically used combination approach of radiofrequency hyperthermia and radiation therapy to treat cancer should be further optimized and explored. Multicenter Clinical trials will be designed and conducted for different cancer entities and sites including breast cancer, cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, pancreatic cancer and bladder cancer in order to significantly improve the outcome of patients. Quality assurance, temperature delivery and treatment reporting will be harmonized in order to improve comparability of different treatments in different centers and different tumor entities. Novel user friendly and non-time-consuming treatment planning solutions will be developed integrating both temperature and radiation dose distributions. The candidate will work on optimising and unifying the technical/clinical treatment quality, workflow and data reporting in the hospitals participating in Hyperboost, and assist in setting up a European multicentric clinical study in those centers.

Our research team

Our interdisciplinary research team has a strong track record in pre-clinical research, technical development, treatment planning and clinical research regarding the combination of radiation and radiofrequency hyperthermia, with the PI having an established international reputation in this area. The department includes a fully equipped hyperthermia center enabling development and coordination of multi-modality cancer treatments involving radiofrequency hyperthermia and state of the art treatment planning within clinical studies in a variety of clinical settings. Pre-clinical, technical research is also possible as are translational research questions supplementing clinical trials regarding tumor characterization by PET and MR imaging.    

Your experience

  • Candidates should have a Master’s degree in Medicine or Medical Science, or related field. 
  • Willing to undertake clinical research.
  • Strong analytical skills and a quality orientated mindset.
  • Have a strong motivation for research and good communication skills.
  • Excellent higher education track record.
  • Fluent spoken and written English skills.

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

  • Previous research experience.
  • German skills, preferably fluent in speaking/writing.

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.

Our offer

This 3-year PhD 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 for 3 years with Aarhus University. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) programme 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 = €39.240/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 Peter Wust or Pirus Ghadjar (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; phone: +49-30 450 557 033). 

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Charité is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. All clinical care, research and teaching is delivered by physicians and researchers of the highest international standard. Having marked its 300-year anniversary in 2010, Charité proudly lays claim to more than half of all German Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine, e.g. Emil von Behring, Robert Koch, and Paul Ehrlich. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin represents a medical faculty serving Humboldt Universtität zu Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin. It extends over 4 campuses, has close to 100 Departments and Institutes, making up a total of 17 CharitéCenters with 17,100 staff including its subsidiaries, the annual turnover is €1.8 billion. Charité is internationally renowned for excellence in teaching and training. Innovative capacity and responsible governance for the benefit of patients and society - the central tenets behind all of our research endeavors.