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Chronoradiotherapy: reducing radiotherapy side effects by using the body clock

   Department of Genetics and Genome Biology

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  Dr C J Talbot, Prof C P Kyriacou  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Response to cancer drug treatment has previously been shown to be influenced by time of treatment, but evidence has been limited for radiotherapy. We have data to show that adverse reactions to radiotherapy in breast cancer patients are different between patients treated in the morning or afternoon. Importantly this effect is modified by their genotype in two genes that control circadian rhythm. This opens up the possibility of a cheap modification to treatment that will lower side effects and improve quality of life for breast cancer patients.

In this project, funded by the Hope Against Cancer charity, a PhD student will investigate the mechanism underlying this circadian effect. In collaboration with a clinical team, we will recruit patients into the study before they start radiotherapy and obtain saliva and blood samples at different times of days through their treatment. These samples will be used to test various hypotheses for the mechanism, through testing for differences in: inflammation, melatonin and DNA repair. The project will include techniques in radiobiology, cancer studies, immunology and genetics.

For informal enquiries email Dr Chris Talbot [Email Address Removed]

We are an equal opportunities employer and particularly welcome applications for Ph.D. places from women, minority ethnic and other under-represented groups.

Funding Notes

Deadline for applications Friday 29 September 2017. Position will start in January 2018. Studentship covers UK/EU tuition fees and stipend. The position is suitable for an excellent student in a relevant bioscience.


1. Herskind C, Talbot CJ, Kerns SL, Veldwijk MR, Rosenstein BS, West CM. Radiogenomics: A systems biology approach to understanding genetic risk factors for radiotherapy toxicity? Cancer Lett. 2016 Nov 1;382(1):95-109. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2016.02.035. Epub 2016 Mar 2.
2. Andreassen CN, Rosenstein BS, Kerns SL, Ostrer H, De Ruysscher D, Cesaretti JA, Barnett GC, Dunning AM, Dorling L, West CM, Burnet NG, Elliott R, Coles C, Hall E, Fachal L, Vega A, Gómez-Caamaño A, Talbot CJ, Symonds RP, De Ruyck K, Thierens H, Ost P, Chang-Claude J, Seibold P, Popanda O, Overgaard M, Dearnaley D, Sydes MR, Azria D, Koch CA, Parliament M, Blackshaw M, Sia M, Fuentes-Raspall MJ, Ramon Y Cajal T, Barnadas A, Vesprini D, Gutiérrez-Enríquez S, Mollà M, Díez O, Yarnold JR, Overgaard J, Bentzen SM, Alsner J; International Radiogenomics Consortium (RgC). Individual patient data meta-analysis shows a significant association between the ATM rs1801516 SNP and toxicity after radiotherapy in 5456 breast and prostate cancer patients. Radiother Oncol. 2016 Dec;121(3):431-439.
3. Rosenstein BS, West CM, Bentzen SM, Alsner J, Andreassen CN, Azria D, Barnett GC, Baumann M, Burnet N, Chang-Claude J, Chuang EY, Coles CE, Dekker A, De Ruyck K, De Ruysscher D, Drumea K, Dunning AM, Easton D, Eeles R, Fachal L, Gutiérrez-Enríquez S, Haustermans K, Henríquez-Hernández LA, Imai T, Jones GD, Kerns SL, Liao Z, Onel K, Ostrer H, Parliament M, Pharoah PD, Rebbeck TR, Talbot CJ, Thierens H, Vega A, Witte JS, Wong P, Zenhausern F; Radiogenomics Consortium. Radiogenomics: radiobiology enters the era of big data and team science. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014 Jul 15;89(4):709-13.

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