Despite recent advances in cancer therapeutics, chemotherapy remains one of the main treatment strategies for cancer patients. One of the major and perhaps the most distressing side-effect of chemotherapy in cancer patients is hair loss (chemotherapy induced alopecia, CIA).
Scalp cooling is currently the only safe and FDA-approved preventive treatment to reduce or prevent CIA. Our research in the Paxman Scalp Cooling Research Centre focuses on understanding the role of cooling in reducing or preventing hair loss in cancer patients, and on identifying ways to increase its efficacy. The Paxman Centre aims to support Paxman Ltd, the world’s leading manufacturer of scalp cooling equipment and their mission of ‘zero hair-loss’ for cancer patients world-wide.
Although scalp cooling can be extremely efficient at preventing or at least reducing CIA, as well as being able to accelerate hair recovery when hair loss is observed, the clinical efficacy of scalp cooling varies in different patients. The exact efficacy can depend not only on the type of chemotherapy regimen, but may also relate to other parameters such as health care provider (hospital site) where scalp cooling is delivered and may significantly be associated with patient-specific differences.
The aim of this project is to undertake a systematic analysis of the data from the Dutch Scalp Cooling Registry, led by Dr Corina van den Hurk (Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization, IKNL, Eindhoven). This is the largest database worldwide containing efficacy data of scalp cooling in cancer patients (~7500 patients from ~70 hospital sites) with different types of cancer, treated with a variety of chemotherapy regimens who showed differential responses to scalp cooling. The project will undertake multivariate regression analysis and appropriate statistical evaluation of the Registry data, in order to provide insights into the mechanisms that determine the efficacy of scalp cooling.
This MRes project will not only provide a better understanding of the possible factors that determine scalp cooling efficacy but is also expected to guide the biological research taking place in the Paxman Research Centre. The candidate will have the opportunity to interact with a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Netherlands and the University of Huddersfield and be part of an international research group with participants from all over the world. The project therefore will offer an inspiring environment to gain experience in performing research in the field of supportive care in cancer.
Applicants must have a 2.1 or 1st Class degree in Biological Sciences or a related discipline.
Experience in biological or clinical data analysis and appropriate statistical analysis is essential. Prior knowledge of cancer chemotherapy and its clinical consequences would be desirable.
How to apply
To apply for this MRes position please e-mail your CV with a cover letter to Dr Nik Georgopoulos ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Andrew Collett ([Email Address Removed]). Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews which are expected to take place during the week beginning 20th September 2021 over Microsoft Teams.
The scholarship is open to Home (UK) applicants only and is fully funded by the Paxman Scalp Cooling Research Centre including tuition fees and a maintenance grant of £15,560 p.a.