PhD position at the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester
Position: PhD student for Optimising image guidance quality for high-accuracy proton therapy
Institution: University of Manchester
Location: Manchester, UK
Application closes at: Dec 1st, 2017 00:00
Proton therapy has the potential to reduce treatment side effects compared to conventional photon radiotherapy. Due to limited availability, it is crucial to identify patients who are the best candidates. Ideally, the selection should be based solely on clinical factors: patients who get the most benefit should get prioritised access. Unfortunately today, this is only partially true as technical challenges prevent proton therapy to be safely delivered to moving or variable anatomy. By increasing the quality of image guidance available on the treatment machines, we enable developing strategies to account for these anatomical changes and improve the quality of proton delivery for all patients.
The overall project has 3 main aims:
- Develop high quality imaging by combining x-ray of different energies for soft tissue contrast enhancement and daily range verification
- Optimize the relationship between the visibility of the tumour and the dose delivered to the patient for different patient groups (e.g. head and neck& lung cancer patients, children).
- Develop workflows to adapt the treatment to the anatomical changes during proton therapy (e.g. tumour shrinkage).
This project will develop clinical workflows for optimal image-guidance quality and bring results to the clinic. Patients treated with proton therapy will benefit from improved imaging quality in three ways:
Daily, by ensuring that the position of the tumour in the treatment beam is optimal
- Throughout treatment, by ensuring that potential anatomical changes are closely monitored
- When changes occur, the treatment will be adjusted quickly using high quality imaging that best represents the new anatomy thereby ensuring the highest probability of cure and the lowest risk of side effects.
- This will potentially expand the indications for proton therapy by allowing the safe and accurate treatment of patient groups where proton therapy is today considered unsafe or requires large safety margins.
For more information about this PhD scheme please visit http://www.crukcentre.manchester.ac.uk/Training/PhD-Training-Scheme
The Studentship will cover an annual stipend (currently at £19,000 per annum), running expenses and PhD tuition fees at UK/EU rates. Where international student fees are payable, please provide evidence with your application of how the shortfall will be covered (approximately £16,000 per annum).
Candidates must hold, or be about to obtain, a minimum upper second class (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in relevant subject. A related master's degree would be an advantage.