PhD student Pre-operative and intra-operative detection of metastatic lymph nodes in prostate cancer patients

Status Open
Beschikbaar per -
Werkgever Radboudumc
Afdeling Urologie, Nucleaire Geneeskunde, Prostate MR Expertise Center (PMRC), Radiologie
Dienstverband Voltijd
Werktijden 36 uur per week
Locatie Nijmegen
Sluitingsdatum 31 maart, 2019
Download(s) Download bijlage 1

Overige informatie

PhD student
Pre-operative and intra-operative detection of metastatic lymph nodes in prostate cancer patients

  • 36 hours a week
  • Temporary
  • 3 years
  • Scale 10A/10: max € 60864 gross per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)


Job description

Patients with prostate cancer do not die from the primary tumor, but from (extended) metastatic disease. One of the first steps towards extended metastatic disease is the presence of lymph node metastases, which is an important factor determining the patients’ prognosis. With continuously improving opportunities to very selectively treat small numbers of metastatic sites it is of utmost importance to accurately diagnose the first signs of oligometastatic disease and to define its extent and aggression.

Within our department nano-MRI as well as 68Ga/18F-PSMA PET-CT are two unique complementary techniques for diagnosis of nodal disease, even in very small lymph nodes. However, the biggest challenge we currently face is the surgical removal of these nodes, to histopathologically validate our imaging findings, and to provide guidance to treat oligometastatic disease with curative intent.

The main focus of this PhD project will be to combine pre- and intra-operative imaging for the detection of lymph node metastases to improve the gold standard for pre-operative imaging techniques and to improve the surgical outcome in prostate cancer patients who are at risk of having lymph node metastases. For this, a prospective clinical study will be started in patients with prostate cancer who are eligible for surgical lymph node dissection. Pre-operative 68Ga/18F-PSMA PET-CT and nano-MRI will be acquired, and during surgery a gamma probe will be used for exact localization and identification of suspicious lymph nodes.
Tumorous and non-tumorous lymph nodes as determined on 7T MRI images and by histopathology (gold standard) will be retrospectively assessed on the pre-operatively acquired images.

The PhD candidate will have a pivotal role in the project and collaborate with researchers and clinicians from the Prostate MR Expertise Center (PMRC), the radiology and nuclear medicine research groups and the urology department.


Tasks and responsibilities

  •  Design and perform the prospective clinical studies as described above;
  • Analyze scientific data;
  • Write scientific publications and present findings at scientific meetings;
  • Work in a team with other scientists and clinicians to plan, discuss, and perform research in a stimulating environment.



  • Masters degree in Medicine or Technical Medicine or equivalent;
  • Permit to work with radioactivity (or willing to obtain this permit);
  • Well-developed communicational and social skills directed towards working in a team;
  • Enthusiastic and strong motivation to successfully complete a PhD.



Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
The Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicinehas long-standing research lines on the development and clinical translation of radiolabeled tracers for imaging as well as top-level diagnostic imaging with advanced MRI methods. Within the department, there is a strong focus on translational research by collaborations between basic scientists and clinical researchers.

The department has excellent research facilities, including level B radionuclide laboratories, a preclinical imaging center (PRIME) and state-of-the art clinical imaging facilities including MRI, CT, ultrasound, PET, SPECT, and optical imaging. There is also a strong link to the MITeC operating rooms for intra-operative imaging studies. Research is divided over several research groups, including senior scientists, PhD students, medical doctors, and research technicians.

Radboudumc strives to be a leading developer of sustainable, innovative and affordable healthcare to improve the health and wellbeing of people and society in the Netherlands and beyond. This is the core of our mission: To have a significant impact on healthcare. To get a better picture of what this entails, check out our strategy.

Read more about what it means to work at Radboudumc and how you can do your part.


Employment conditions

The gross monthly salary, depending on education will be scale 10A (max. € 2.992) or scale 10 (max. € 4.361) based on a full-time working week (excl. vacation bonus and 8.3% end of year payments).

Upon commencement of employment we require a certificate of conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) and there will be, depending on the type of job, a screening based on the provided cv. Radboud university medical center’s HR Department will apply for this certificate on your behalf.

Read more about the Radboudumc employment conditionsand what our International Officecan do for you when moving to the Netherlands.


Comments and contact information

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Mark Rijpkema, associate professor, via +31 (24) 361 45 11.


Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.



Nederlandse Vereniging voor Technische Geneeskunde • KvK: 08200242 • IBAN: NL85 RABO 0153 1487 21 • BIC: RABONLU4NL