Postdoctoral position: "Models and simulations for very-high energy electrons (VHEE) radiation therapy"

Date de clôture
Lieu(x) de travail
Ensemble hospitalier
The Institut Curie is a major player in cancer research and treatment. It consists of a hospital and a research center with more than 3,000 employees and a strong international presence. The Orsay Proton therapy Center (CPO) founded in 1991 is part of the radiation oncology department at Institut Curie hospital group, which is one of the European-wide recognition as a Comprehensive Cancer Center of excellence. This position will be associated with a research project at CPO whose goal is to develop new treatment planning methods for very-high energy electrons (VHEE) treatments, and their application to FLASH radiotherapy, and is an exciting opportunity to join the radiation therapy research activities in Orsay, within the hospital and the research center.

Job description

Radiotherapy is currently one of the main techniques used for the treatment of cancer. During the last thirty years, numerous technical advances have allowed to considerably improve the conformation of the irradiations to the specific characteristics of each tumour and to reduce their side effects.
Nevertheless, the tolerance of healthy tissues remains the main limitation of this type of treatment, especially in the case of particularly radiosensitive patients, such as children, or radioresistant tumours for which the control of the side effects of radiotherapy remains a major therapeutic challenge. The development of innovative approaches that reduce the sensitivity of healthy tissues to irradiation while maintaining the efficacy of the treatment on the tumour is therefore of crucial importance for the progress of the efficacy of radiotherapy. Recently, pioneering work at the Institut Curie has demonstrated that ultra-high dose rate irradiation (so-called FLASH) has a major healthy tissue sparing effect - while preserving anti-tumour efficacy (Favaudon et al 2014).
On the other hand, VHEE radiotherapy (very high energy electrons, in the energy range of 100 to 250 MeV), first proposed in the 2000s, would be particularly accurate and independent of tissue heterogeneities (unlike low energy electrons or protons), and could be applicable in a large number of anatomical locations such as pulmonary and intestinal regions (Fig. 1). It is also potentially less expensive than other radiotherapy techniques, would allow accelerated treatment, for example through magnetic scanning of particle beams, with high doses per fraction thereby improving its effectiveness.
VHEE would also take advantage of recent work on FLASH - in which a high dose is administered to the tissues in an extremely short time - allowing the simultaneous reduction in the occurrence and severity of early and late complications affecting normal tissues, while maintaining control of the tumour.

Within the radiation oncology department based at the Institut Curie- Hospital Orsay (91), the medical physics' team is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow, with a strong interest in translational research on cancer treatment. As part of the activities of this project, the applicant would be expected to work in the following area:

  • Treatment planning modelling (physical and biological optimization considerations for ultrahigh dose-rate FLASH therapy, softwares benchmark, accelerator modelling). A dose calculation engine (Monte Carlo, PBA or modified clinical TPS) will be tested and benchmarked or associated with a full Monte Carlo toolkit (TOPAS/Geant4) in order to allow a reliable assessment of VHEE calculations (lateral and depth dose distributions) in patients.
  • VHEE applications for radiation therapy (clinical simulations, experimental validations, detector benchmark): a side-by-side comparison of possible VHEE treatments with current radiotherapy methods (eg VMAT, protons, etc) will be carried out: site-specific study with a series of representative treatments from our institution clinical treatment’s database.
  • The temporal dose distribution will be simulated using the previous dose calculation algorithms, and to assess the dose rate distributions in VHEE plans. Dose rate computations for clinical datasets will be examined in order to test possible phenomenological FLASH-RBE models (such as dose modifying factors) available in the literature.
  • Radiation therapy dosimetry (protons and electrons), robustness and uncertainties, intercomparisons and ultra-high dose-rate measurements: several experimental characterisation campaigns are underway with FLASH machines (protons, 7 MeV electrons), and the researcher will participate in these measurements.

Contract information
Type of contract: CDD
Contract duration/Starting date: 24 months starting early 2023
Working hours: Full time – 39h/week
Remuneration: according to the current standards/depending on experience
Benefits: Collective restaurant, 70% reimbursement of the transport ticket, company mutual insurance
Location: Institut Curie, Centre de protonthérapie d’Orsay, France
Reference: VHEE



Profile required

The candidate must hold a PhD in radiation physics, medical physics or detection physics • Radiation matter interactions / radiation therapy / dosimetry • Preferred expertise and experience in one or more of the following areas: programming skills (MATLAB, Python, C++) – Monte Carlo simulations (ex: Geant4/TOPAS) – Measurements – Treatment planning. You will also be expected to have experience in working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Exemple : +33112365489
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