Radiotherapy is a central pillar of multidisciplinary cancer care. Proton therapy (PT) is an advanced radiotherapy technology, yet entailing higher investment and operational costs, warranting a cost-effective implementation. To select patients benefitting most from PT, a model-based approach can be applied, using prediction models of toxicity, i.e., normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) models. In thoracic cancers, the rapid evolution of state-of-the-art treatments however leads to a systematic underperformance of the available NTCP models. This calls for the development of innovative models allowing to continuously and prospectively learn from information gathered from every patient.
The aim of this PhD project is to perform the health economic assessment, associated to the innovative NTCP model framework that will be developed, with the ultimate aim to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of PT compared to the standard photon beam radiotherapy (XT), by balancing the costs to the outcomes in locally-advanced non-small cell lung and esophageal cancer.
The programme will include different work packages:
As a doctoral researcher, you will be responsible for the development, implementation, analysis and reporting of this work package. Your research results will contribute to the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of medicine and health sciences, in a close collaboration between the departments of Structure and Repair, Public Health and Primary Care (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) and Accounting, Corporate Finance & Taxation (Faculty of Economics and Business administration) at UGent, together with the collaborators from medicine and health sciences at KU Leuven.