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Oncological Engineering: A new concept in the treatment of bone metastases

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

About the Project

Approximately 2 million people are living with cancer in the UK and this number is set to rise considerably over the next decade to 3.2M. A significant complication of late stage cancer is metastases or secondary tumours which are caused by tumour cells spreading to different locations in the body. Metastases are associated with breast cancer, which is the most common cancer in females and the leading cause of cancer deaths in this group. Figures vary but some studies put a figure of about 50-60 % of patients will have bone metastases in late stage cancer. The tumours weaken the bone and lead to a variety of problems for the patients at a time when quality of life is a paramount consideration, especially as the prognosis is usually terminal. Significant issues include severe pain and spinal fracture which made lead to spinal cord injury. These complications often require major surgery which encroaches, significantly, on the patients' quality of life, when life expectancy is a matter of months and may, in certain cases, provide a mechanism of further spread of the cancer. Currently, there are no implants for supporting the bones before fracture as we cannot identify which vertebrae are likely to fail.

OncoEng is a UKRI EPSRC funded flagship programme grant concerned with research into the identification and prophylactic intervention of metastatic bone disease in the spine. It comprises a collaboration between the University of Leeds, Imperial College London and University College London. OncoEng+ network brings together researchers and innovators from a wide set of disciplines within the UK and abroad to tackle the challenges that underpin cancer using engineering and the physical sciences. As such, we are delighted to be able to offer a number of PhD studentships at the University of Leeds to compliment this activity.  

Funding Notes

A highly competitive School of Mechanical Engineering Studentship consisting of the award of fees at the UK fee rate (currently £4,596 in academic session 2022/23) with a maintenance grant (currently £17,668 for session 2022/23) for 3.5 years. This opportunity is open to UK applicants only. All candidates will be placed into the School of Mechanical Engineering Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.

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