Dosimetry in radiopharmaceutical therapy: positions for students and postdocs
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Location: Boston, MA
Application closes at: Oct 31st, 2022 11:19
We have two open positions for postdoctoral fellows and/or students* of physics, medical physics, nuclear/mechanical engineering, and computer science interested in developing new methods to compute and assess the radiation dosimetry in the novel radionuclide therapies in cancer care. Our team is within the Physics Division at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology (https://paganetti-lab.mgh.harvard.edu).
Projects Background: Radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) consists of the administration of radioactive sources in a selective way so that tumor cells take up considerably more radioactivity than healthy cells. As tumor cells are targeted by means of ionizing radiation, the clinical outcome is expected to be driven by radiation dose. However, dosimetry methods largely need to be developed and/or refined.
Project 1 focuses on the use of microspheres labeled with the beta-emitter Y90. In clinical practice, microspheres are injected in the proximities of liver tumors, so they get lodged in the surrounding vessels, which is known as radioembolization. The therapeutic effect is achieved through the beta particles emitted by the Y90-labeled microspheres. We will work on new methods to determine dosimetry in Y90-microsphere treatments. Our specific aims are:
- Use of liver-specific vasculature computational models to study the flow of microspheres once injected into the liver.
- Study of the influence of different parameters of the administration of Y90 in the liver dose distribution
Besides the main project, the candidate will have the opportunity to work on other projects conducted within our team, such as Monte Carlo applications, radiobiological modeling, or RBE in proton radiotherapy.
Project 2: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an aggressive cancer with very limited curative options in desperate need of new therapeutic approaches. Radiopharmaceutical therapy has recently arisen as a promising modality that combinates the use of cell-specific targets with the toxic properties of ionizing radiation by means of conjugates of a targeting ligand and a radioactive isotope or radionuclide. Compared to conventional radiation, α-particles are more cytotoxic even in hypoxic settings, such as the PDAC environment. However, optimized clinical use of α-particle radiopharmaceutical therapy requires the study of the absorbed dose and relative biological effectiveness of these particles. This project focuses on in-silico studies of in vivo and in vitro experiments of α-particles irradiating PDAC cell lines. We have a twofold objective:
- to provide valuable knowledge to guide the design of new pre-clinical studies in which our results can be validated; and
- to model different factors impacting the dosimetry and biological effects of α-particles with the future ambition of optimizing clinical treatments of PDAC.
MGH is an equal opportunity employer. We value diversity highly and encourage international and minority candidates to apply.
*Students: Our team cannot host an education program as the main institution. Students hosted by other institutions are invited to apply and their salary will be supported by our team.