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Thesis defense Jolien Heukelom: more effective adaptive radiotherapy
The standard treatment for head and neck cancer patients who
cannot have surgery is a combination of radiotherapy and
chemotherapy: chemoradiotherapy. PhD researcher Jolien Heukelom
investigated different options to improve the results after
chemoradiotherapy. Either by increasing the amount of patients
being cured, or by decreasing the amount of patients that suffer
side effects of the treatment.
A different question Heukelom addressed is about adaptive
radiotherapy (ART), which is increasingly being applied in
radiotherapy. ART involves the adaptation of the treatment plan
during the series of treatments in order to correct for anatomical
changes that have occurred. Which patients need such an adaptive
approach? Her PhD research shows this can be predicted with a
technique called dose accumulation and models that predict side
effects. More accurately than the doctors' choice without those
methods. The use of dose accumulation and such models allows for
more effective use of adaptive radiotherapy, which benefits health
care efficiency. It might also further improve the outcomes for
On Friday November 22nd she will defend her thesis at the
University of Amsterdam. Good luck Jolien!