PhD Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 22 May 2022

The project

Effective treatment of tumors metastasizing to the peritoneal cavity is a major challenge. Surgery followed by Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) are applied to suppress macroscopic and microscopic peritoneal metastases, respectively, of cancers of different origins. During HIPEC a chemotherapy solution heated to 40-43°C is circulated through the peritoneum for 30 to 90 minutes. The elevated temperatures during HIPEC  sensitize chemotherapy and thus improve the likelihood of tumour control. There is presently discussion on the optimal HIPEC protocol for peritoneal metastases of colorectal origin.

The four year multidisciplinary research project “Improving therapeutic effectiveness and reducing toxicity of HIPEC for colorectal peritoneal metastases (PMCRC) by applying “step-up” heating” is supported by a grant of the Dutch Cancer Society KWF and aims to optimize the clinical effectiveness of the HIPEC procedure by utilizing novel dynamic HIPEC protocols with sequential variation in dose, temperature level and duration of exposure to chemotherapy in in vitro, organoid, and in vivo tumor models. Finally clinical efficacy will be evaluated in a phase I clinical study. Goal is to establish HIPEC strategies  resulting in more effective tumor eradication without unacceptable local and systemic side effects.

Two PhD positions are part of the project, both at the department of Radiation Oncology of the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam.

One PhD student has been hired to work at determining efficacy of sequential low/high dose, low/high temperature 90 minute “step-up” heating of mitomycin-C and platinum-based HIPEC drugs in organoid models of normal colorectal tissue and of relevant colorectal tumors, and in in vivo tumor models.

We now look for a second PhD student with a physics background who will process and analyze the data provided by the first PhD student with a background in biology for the different sequential low/high dose, low/high temperature 90 minute “step-up” heating protocols of mitomycin-C and platinum-based HIPEC applied in the different tumor models and in human clinical treatments.

A team of physicists, biologists and clinicians will advise on the work of both students.

About your role

The PhD student with a physics background will process and analyze biological and clinical HIPEC data (provided by another PhD student with a background in biology) in sophisticated mathematical models developed in an earlier project capable of integrating data on flow, temperature, chemotherapy concentration, temperature dependence of the effect of chemotherapy, temperature dependence of the penetration of chemotherapy into tissue for the different sequential low/high dose, low/high temperature 90 minute “step-up” heating protocols of mitomycin-C and platinum-based HIPEC applied in the different tumor models and in human clinical treatments. 

Work will involve development, adaptation and application of advanced computer models simulating various aspects of the HIPEC procedure, which is novel in the field.


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