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Understanding the genetic basis of radiotherapy toxicity (T1/4)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, December 05, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Radiotherapy is effective at killing tumours but can cause side effects that impair quality of life. Efforts are underway to develop predictive algorithms for radiotherapy toxicity, which would then allow alterations to treatment. Known predictive factors include genetics, co-morbidities, dose distribution, chemotherapy and others. Increased understanding of the genetic architecture would be invaluable in improving predictive models. Additional complexity comes from the side effects having different manifestations according to tissue, even if the underlying biology has common pathways.

The REQUITE project has collected treatment and outcome data on radiotherapy patients treated for breast, lung and prostate cancer. Some genetic studies have been carried out on clinician-scored end-points, but much work remains to be done. Firstly, there are multiple endpoints not yet considered, including patient-reported outcome measures, quality-of-life scores, fatigue and surgical side effects. Secondly, to analyse genetic correlations between measures in terms of individual SNPs and gene pathways, which when combined with transcriptomics will elucidate the biological relationship between the outcomes. Genetic correlations will also be studied with diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Thirdly, to use the new understanding of the relationship between predictive factors to improve the predictive models before real world application in clinical trials.

Entry Requirements

UK Bachelor Degree with at least 2:1 in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent.

University of Leicester English language requirements apply.

This project is available for UK/EU/International students.

How to Apply

Application advice and application link:

Funding Notes

This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme.

Stipend for the PhD: Year 1 £19,919; Year 2 £21,542; Year 3 £23,298; Year 4 £23,997 (rates as of September 2019).

4 year PhD fee waiver at UK/EU rates.

International applicants need to ensure they can fund the difference between UK/EU and international fees for the duration of their studies.

We also will offer 2 fully funded places to international applicants from Lower-middle income countries per year. These will provide a full overseas fee waiver and stipend for 4 years.

Related Subjects

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