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PhD student Mathematical modelling of tumour growth

Supporting treatment decision-making in avanced lung cancer and melanoma. Your challenge To perform statistical analyses of the databases underlying the …

meer dan 2 jaar geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 uur
€ 2279 - € 2919 per maand


Supporting treatment decision-making in avanced lung cancer and melanoma.

Your challenge

  • To perform statistical analyses of the databases underlying the construction of the tumour growth models;
  • To select an adequate mathematical representation of tumour growth, fit the model using patient-level data, and implement the model in a micro-simulation framework such that long-term projections are possible.
  • To simulate scenarios of alternative monitoring and treatment decisions with the model;
  • To publish your research findings in biomedical, applied mathematics or epidemiological journals;
  • Collaborate with researchers from the other work packages in the project.
  • To assist in teaching activities in statistical courses for medical students.


Your profile

We are searching for a PhD student with the following expertise and experience:

  • You have a Masters degree in Econometrics, Applied mathematics, Statistics, Computational biology or a comparable subject matter;
  • You are interested in modeling to support decision making in the field of health care;
  • You have good verbal and written communcation skills (English);
  • Experience with performing statistical analyses (SPSS, Stata or R) and mathematical modeling.
  • Programming experience using for example Matlab, C++, R.


We offer

Salary Scale PHD: 2279 to 2919 euro gross when employed full-time (depending on qualifications and experience).

In addition to a good base salary, we offer, amongst others, an 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday pay. For more information on our fringe benefits, please see our benefits www.werkenbijvumc.nl/vumc/arbeidsvoorwaarden/

For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a VOG (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag).

Additional information

Your work environment

Advanced non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma are both diseases with high mortality. In the last ten years, the treatment options for these tumours have improved. So called targeted drugs have become available that are directed against specific genetic mutations in the tumours. In addition, there has been a breakthrough in the treatment of these tumours by means of immunotherapy, although this treatment is effective in only a minority of patients. Notwithstanding all new treatments, it is difficult to select the best treatment. Furthermore, patients initially responding to a treatment, may become Resistant to their treatment over time. Therefore, constant monitoring of the disease is essential. If monitoring data, such as the size of the tumour and specific biomarkers, make it possible to predict whether a patient will soon become Resistant to treatment, this would allow a clinician to halt ineffective treatment timely. This in turn would avoid serious side-effects and would improve the balance between costs and benefits of cancer drugs.

To predict treatment Resistance and to address the optimisation of treatment monitoring, it is important to understand how tumours grow. In the field of mathematial biology, mathematical models of tumour growth have been developed. Thus far, however, in the field of health-economics, these models have not been used to address questions of cost-benefit optimisation. Therefore, in this project, we will use existing knowledge on tumour growth modelling in combination with measurements of tumour size on CT (computed tomography) scans to develop models for prediction and optimisation in advanced lung cancer and melanoma.

This PhD project is embedded in the TANGO project, a research collaboration of multiple institutes (Hartwig Medical Foundation, Dutch Cancer Institute, University Utrecht, Twente University, Erasmus University, Free University of Amsterdam, Maastricht University). The central aim of TANGO is to assess the potential impact of whole genome sequencing, a new technology that allows a near-complete view of the various mutations present in the tumour, on clinical decision-making and cost-effectiveness of cancer care in non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma.

The interviews are scheduled Thursday June, 28th. We want to ask you to take this into account in your agenda.


Don’t hesitate to call or email us! If you’re interested about this position, you can contact Veerle Coupé, via telephone number 020 – 444 1049. If you need more information about the application procedure, contact Dionne Mooijer, corporate recruiter at 020 – 444 5635. You can apply till 19 June 2018 by using the apply button.

Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.