PhD Candidate FLASH Proton Therapy

PhD Candidate FLASH Proton Therapy

Published Deadline Location
12 May 4 Jun Leiden

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Do you want to make a substantial contribution to the development of FLASH proton therapy to a full-blown treatment modality for clinical studies and future routine patient treatments? Are you interested in working in a multidisciplinary team of physicists, medical physicists and clinicians? Do you want to improve cancer treatment with cutting edge technology in a clinical setting? Then the HollandPTC consortium is looking for you!

Job description

Within the HollandPTC consortium, consisting of Erasmus MC, LUMC and TU Delft, a large multidisciplinary research project on FLASH proton therapy (FLASH-PT) is about to start. When irradiating tissues with (ultra) high dose-rates, i.e., FLASH radiotherapy, a differential response between healthy and cancerous tissue is observed, where the radiosensitivity in healthy tissue is reduced compared to the tumor. Due to their physical properties, proton beams can more accurately target the tumor compared to conventional radiotherapy, resulting in better sparing of surrounding healthy tissue. FLASH-PT, aiming to combine the physical advantages of proton therapy (PT) with those of FLASH, is a promising new direction in radiotherapy. The improved healthy tissue sparing is expected to reduce treatment side effects and enable dose escalation with the potential to improve local tumor control.  Furthermore, the fast delivery will reduce the impact of motion and may significantly shorten the required time per fraction, reducing the treatment burden.

You will focus on the clinical preparation and implementation of an adaptive proton therapy workflow for tumors that move because of respiration. You will gather thoracic CT data of actual proton therapy patients with a thoracic tumor. You will use this data and a linear phantom mimicking free breathing to develop a motion mitigation strategy. You will investigate the potential benefit of motion mitigation in a plan comparison between free breathing and a breathing-phase based (gated) plan, for various tumor locations in the long. To test the developed motion mitigation strategy and prepare for clinical implementation of motion mitigation and FLASH-PT, you will perform a prospective clinical study in patients treated with thoracic proton therapy. In the proposed study, a kV image will be acquired at the optimal gating moment, this image essentially being a surrogate for a hypothetical FLASH treatment and proof of the concept. Your main workplace will be the LUMC, but you will also frequently work at HollandPTC. 


Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)


·         You are a highly motivated candidate with a master’s degree in Technical Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, or a related discipline;

·         Medical doctors with affinity for (and preferably experience in) Medical Physics or radiotherapy are also invited to apply;

·        You are motivated to pursue a 4-year research project in the Medical (Physics) field and have an affinity for solving clinical problems;

·        Furthermore, you have a practical and hands-on attitude and are interested in using treatment planning software;

·         As you will be part of a multi-disciplinary team, good communication skills are essential;

·         You are ambitious, result-driven and an excellent team player;

·         Excellent technical skills as well as academic writing and presentation skills in English are required, knowledge of the Dutch language is preferred.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: duration education.

You will be given an employment contract for the production of a PhD thesis for the duration of the program with a maximum of four years. The salary amounts to € 2,789 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,536 in the last year with fulltime employment (scale Pro, CLA UMC).



At the Leiden University Medical Center, we continuously work on improving patient care. We invest in groundbreaking, international research and work with the latest equipment. Together with our team of doctors, medical specialists, teachers, academic researchers and supporting staff, we aim for the best quality in health care, education and international research. And we need you to realize our goals!



At Leiden University Medical Center and HollandPTC, we continuously work on improving patient care. We invest in groundbreaking research and work with the latest equipment. Together with our team of doctors, medical physicists and technicians, researchers and supporting staff, we aim for the best quality in cancer care.

HollandPTC is a state-of the art proton therapy facility with 2 proton gantries with an in-room CT scanner, a treatment room for patients with eye malignancies and a separate research beam line. The set-up in HollandPTC is unique in the Netherlands. The ability to reach FLASH dose rates creates endless groundbreaking research possibilities. In house imaging with a dual-energy CT, a 3T MRI and a PET/CT is also available for the clinic and for research. 

Within this consortium-wide project, you will be one of four PhD students at either Erasmus MC, LUMC, TU Delft or HollandPTC who will be working on different clinical and medical physics research questions. The research will significantly contribute to making FLASH proton therapy clinically available at HollandPTC. The project covers the implementation of FLASH-PT with respiratory gating, the generation of effective FLASH-PT plans and the optimization thereof, as well as experimental verification of FLASH proton beam delivery during treatment.


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2789—€3536 per month
  • University graduate
  • D.23.MV.MR.26


Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)

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Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA, Leiden

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