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PhD - MRI-guided radiotherapy of rectal cancer

Your function within the department

The use of an MR-linac at NKI has the potential to improve the radiotherapy treatment of patients with rectal cancer. Because patients are imaged with MRI on each treatment day, adaptation of the radiotherapy plan is feasible based on the actual anatomical situation.
With the increased precision of radiotherapy, we expect to be able to increase the dose to the tumor, increasing the likelihood of a complete response. This may make it possible to avoid surgery in a larger group of patients, benefiting quality of life. Because of the mobility of the target volumes, large margins around the target volumes are irradiated in current clinical practice. We expect to be able to shrink these margins considerably, thus limiting the exposure of normal tissue and reduce the likelihood of side effects. 
Your task will be to develop techniques to escalate the radiation dose to tumor and lymph nodes with the purpose of increasing the complete response rate. You will introduce techniques that allow us to reduce treatment margins. You will work in a multidisciplinary team of physicians and technical scientists and RTTs to bring these techniques to the clinic and test there efficacy in clinical trials.

Your profile

We are looking for an ambitious PhD student with an interest in image processing and experience with programming. The candidate should have a master’s degree in technical medicine or a related field. Experience with radiotherapy as part of the master program is appreciated. Fluency in English is essential for this position. If you identify yourself with these conditions, we would like to invite you to apply.

Your career opportunities and terms of employment

You will join a dynamic international research team, and will collaborate with scientists with expertise in different disciplines. You will have the opportunity to follow high-quality courses offered by the OOA oncology graduate school throughout your PhD.
Your temporary employment will be for a period of four years. The gross salary per month will be from € 2.665,- € 3.282, according to the standard PhD scales. The terms of employment will be in accordance with the CAO Ziekenhuizen (Collective Labour Agreement for Hospitals).


For further information about this position please contact Prof. dr. U.A. van der Heide, tel. +31205121731, email:

Acquisition for this vacancy is not appreciated.