PhD candidate: ‘ProPOSE: Proton therapy in Pregnancy for Optimal, Safe and Effective cancer treatment’

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
March 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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PhD candidate: ‘ProPOSE: Proton therapy in Pregnancy for Optimal, Safe and

Effective cancer treatment'

(ref. BAP-2023-89)

Last modification : Friday, February 17, 2023

For the KU Leuven department of oncology, Laboratory of Experimental Radiotherapy, we are recruiting a PhD candidate fort his multidisciplinary project. The ProPOSE project brings together three complementary research groups, where experts will guide and support the PhD candidate's research. First, the project is embedded within the Particle Therapy Interuniversity Center Leuven (PARTICLE) at the KU/UZ Leuven radiation oncology, medical radiation physics departments (prof. dr. ir. Tom Depuydt, prof. dr. Maarten Lambrecht and dr. ir. Jeroen Blommaert). PARTICLE is the first, and so far only, clinical proton therapy center in Belgium. With its compact design, this IBA ProteusONE proton therapy facility is embedded within the UZ Leuven radiation oncology department at the heart of UZ Leuven. Next to this, the PhD candidate will be part of the multidisciplinary UZ Leuven/KU Leuven research group on cancer in pregnancy, led by prof. dr. Frédéric Amant. Prof. Amant and his group founded the international network on cancer, infertility and pregnancy (https:// www. With their multicentric and international approach, they aim to document the potential impact of cancer treatment on the development of the child to better treat and inform pregnant women with cancer. Finally, the PhD candidate will closely collaborate with he SCK CEN radiation protection dosimetry and calibration group (dr. Marijke De Saint-Hubert). This expert group has a strong research focus on advanced computational and physical dosimetry including out-of-field dosimetry, microdosimetry and neutron dosimetry.


During pregnancy the use of radiotherapy is usually considered as a prohibited topic due to the associated fetal risks, while the suboptimal treatment of pregnant women and delay in radiotherapy until after delivery can be harmful for both the patient's and child's outcome. The use of more advanced techniques, such as proton therapy, with a lower stray radiation and therefore a decreased fetal risk opens new perspectives in the treatment of cancer during pregnancy.

The ProPOSE project has been subdivided into five work packages. The PhD candidate will take on a leading role for the execution of the different WP, under the supervision of and in collaboration with the three expert groups.

Through phantom measurement and Monte Carlo simulations, the PhD candidate will quantify the fetal radiation dose during proton therapy and set out evidence-based guidelines and practical tools for the optimal and safe use of proton therapy during pregnancy.

This knowledge will be implemented nationally and internationally for the treatment of cancer during pregnancy, allowing more pregnant cancer patients to undergo a radiotherapeutic treatment that is both safe and effective.

  • You possess a master's degree in (medical) physics or biomedical engineering or in a related technical discipline.
  • You have programming experience (Bash, Matlab, Python) OR are strongly motivated to obtain these skills.
  • You have a strong interest towards applied clinical research and like to work in a multidisciplinary environment.
  • You can work both independent and in group and can take initiative.
  • A recognition as a medical physicist is considered a plus, a combination of the PhD project with an internship in medical physics can be discussed.
  • Previous experience in radiotherapy, particle therapy/physics or medical imaging is considered a plus.
  • Offer

    We offer a fulltime four-year PhD internship within a multidisciplinary setting. It Is our goal that, at the end of the project, the candidate will obtain a PhD degree.

    You will be part of a ground-breaking multidisciplinary research project across three esteemed research groups at UZ/KU Leuven and SCK-CEN.


    For more information on the contents of the function, please contact:

    - dr. ir. Jeroen Blommaert ([email protected])

    - prof. dr. ir. Tom Depuydt ([email protected])

    - prof. dr. Maarten Lambrecht ([email protected])

    - prof. dr. Frédéric Amant ([email protected])

    - dr. Marijke De Saint-Hubert ([email protected])

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected]

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