PhD Student ‘Children with head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma'
Rhabdomyosarcoma of the head and neck (HN RMS) is a rare type of cancer, which occurs at young age but most children survive long- term. Local treatment is essential to achieve disease control but causes debilitating long-term adverse events in the majority of survivors, including craniofacial growth deformities and functional impairment of the eyes, pituitary dysfunction, speech difficulties, and dental problems. These treatment-induced adverse events may have lifelong negative impact on quality of life. Various local treatment approaches for HN RMS (i.e., surgery, type of radiation therapy, or a combination thereof) are applied that, while comparable with respect to survival outcome, vary considerably in regard to adverse events. Prediction of adverse events is currently not possible for individual patients.
The aim of this project is to develop a decision support model that enables well-informed shared multimodal treatment decision making based on adverse event prediction for individual HN RMS patients. Hereto, the PhD student will primarily focus on the development of the treatment decision support model (i.e., facial growth simulation software and the modelling of functional impairment risks). Further, analysis of 3D stereophotogrammetry data to quantify facial growth deformities and recalculation/reconstruction of 3D radiation dose distributions will be part of the project. Together with the other researcher appointed on the project, associations between the treatment details (i.e., radiation doses and surgical procedures) on the one hand and adverse events (i.e., craniofacial deformities and functional impairments) on the other hand will be investigated.
This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and