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PhD Student Position on Validation of a Short and effective MRI Surveillance (SMS) protocol for hepatocellular carcinoma screening in practice

The Netherlands

Erasmus MC invites applications for a Ph.D. student will, in cooperation with our research team and trial bureaus, plan eligible patients for SMS, US and collect imaging- and reporting data; The Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, the Netherlands – Apr 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD Position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2.570 EURO/Month

Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine

Erasmus MC, the Netherlands


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Qualification Details

  • You are a highly motivated candidate with a university MSc degree in Clinical Technology, Health Sciences or a completed training in medicine with an affinity for imaging techniques and data management.
  • You have interest in research, are well organized and result-driven with a strong team spirit and ask for help in time if you get stuck in something. In scientific research, things sometimes don't go as expected. You can deal with this pragmatically and you are a go-getter. Working with deadlines doesn't scare you.
  • The successful candidate will have good English skills (both written and oral) (EUR requirements minimum IELTS overall score of 7.0, [comparable to TOEFL PBT: 600; TOEFL CBT: 250; TOEFL IBT: 95]).
  • Experience with imaging studies, especially MRI will be considered an advantage.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Responsibilities/Job Description

Primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and the fourth most common cause of cancer related death. The incidence of HCC has been rapidly rising in Western countries over the past 20 years and is expected to continue to rise in the next decade. In general, prognosis of patients with HCC is poor, except for patients with early-stage HCC who are eligible for curative treatments. In the Netherlands alone, HCC is diagnosed in more than 500 patients yearly, and 70% of HCC occur in patients with hepatitis and/or cirrhosis. According to the Dutch HCC guideline, ultrasound (US) surveillance should be offered to high- risk patients. However, the reliability of US is often limited because of the underlying diffuse liver disease. A Recent meta-analysis revealed that sensitivity of US surveillance for detecting early HCC is only 47% . Better surveillance tools are urgently needed. Higher costs, long duration, and limited availability with respect to US are general drawbacks of MRI and CT for surveillance purposes, as well as the potential risks related to repeated radiation exposure with CT and use of intravenous contrast agents for both CT and MRI.

Solution/ research direction

We have developed and validated a short MRI surveillance (SMS) protocol for HCC in high-risk patients. The SMS protocol does not need intravenous contrast agents and is relatively cheap. Evaluation of SMS performance in daily practice and assessment of cost-effectiveness is the next step.

This PhD trajectory will focus on comparing the SMS protocol (intervention) with the current standard of semi-annual ultrasound screening (control group) (a total of 470 patients with 1175 paired SMS and US screenings during 4 years). The study cohort includes current surveillance patients from two academic hospitals (EMC and AMC) and three regional hospitals (ASZ, Maasstad ZH and SFG). The cost-effectiveness will be carried out in close collaboration with the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Health Technology Assessment.

The PhD student will, in cooperation with our research team and trial bureaus, plan eligible patients for SMS, US and collect imaging- and reporting data; maintain the data base and analyze data after inclusion. The PhD will also start with the cost-effectiveness study of SMS, compared to US.

Work environment

A healthy population and excellence in healthcare through research and education; this is what Erasmus MC stands for. Conducting groundbreaking work, pushing boundaries and leading the way in research, education, and healthcare. We are practical people with a high level of expertise, working hard to improve and renew the healthcare of today and the public health of tomorrow.

The Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine of the Erasmus MC is the largest department of Radiology in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe. Our department is dedicated to high quality patient care, education, and research. Concerning research, the department is known for its forefront in research, clinical work and its state-of-the-art facilities. Moreover, the Radiology department has a MRI physics group with expertise in sequence development, clinical MRI protocols optimization, imaging data analysis and quantitative MRI biomarkers. Netherlands.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: 13.19.22.TDA

Application Procedure

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website.

About the Employer:

Terms of employment

  • You will receive a temporary position for 4 years.
  • The gross monthly salary is € 2.570 ,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.271,- in the 4th year (scale OIO), based on a workweek of 36 hours.
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and a individual travel expense package.
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
  • Special benefits, such as a in company physiotherapist and bicycle repairer.
  • And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.

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Contact details

For more information about this position, please contact Roy Dwarkasing, Radiologist via: [email protected]. For queries regarding your application, please contact Jerry Chandansingh, Recruiter, by phone number: +31 (0)6 500 310 06.

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