Medical Physics: Health Physics/Radiation Safety, Medical Physics: Radiation Oncology
Are you a physicist with interest in applying your physics knowledge to solve medical problems...like cancer? Are you an engineer enthusiastic about creating software tools and applications that can be used by the medical community to treat cancer more effectively and efficiently? Are you a medical physicist interested in, not only learning about proton therapy principles but creating and implementing calculation algorithms in commercial treatment planning software (TPS)? Would you like to develop software for Varian to be implemented in ECLIPSE? If your answer to any of these questions is YES, then this job is for you and we would like to hear from you.
The University of Pennsylvania is seeking for physicists or engineers to develop the next generation of proton radiotherapy delivery technology. What is the job? We are implementing the capabilities in ECLIPSE to be able to calculate proton Linear Energy Transfer (LET) and Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE). Why do we want this? Well, there is published data (eg. Radiotherapy & Oncology 121 (2016) 395-401) indicating a possible correlation between proton LET and radiation side effects. There is therefore a growing interest in considering these parameters in the planning process of proton treatments, as they may help to reducing the probability of unexpected side effects and complications after a proton treatment. And even more interestingly, their consideration could help to boost the radiobiological effectiveness of proton plans. At the moment, proton radiotherapy treatments are a small fraction of the total number of cancer patients treated with radiotherapy, and the statistics required to support the correlation mentioned above is limited. But, think about it, if these parameters where readily available in the TPS, many more proton centers would be able to make such calculations and a larger statistical sample could be obtained on where to test the correlation between these parameters and those complication episodes. Therefore, your work could potentially have a tremendous impact on how proton plans will be design in the future.
The implementation of the LET and RBE will be based on microdosimetry. The microdosimetry spectra will be obtained in three different ways: (i)analytical formulation, (ii) monte carlo simulations, and (iii) measurements of the microdosimetry of the proton beam. The analytic microdosimetric spectra will be the main calculation tool due to its calculation efficiency, however monte carlo calculations will be performed to benchmark the analytical model. The department has access to Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counters (TEPC) and Silicon based microdetectors that will allow us to measure the underlying microdosimetry in the proton beam, and these measurements will help us to commission the software once completed.
The job is offered as a 1 year contract renewable according to performance. The salary will be of $50,000/year plus health insurance benefits. The candidate will be based at the Roberts Proton Center, which is in the main university campus, 15 minutes walking from central Philadelphia. The prospective candidate will have a strong physical and mathematical background, with experience in implementing algorithms in treatment planning systems in the field of radiation oncology. For this purpose, the candidate will have a high degree of expertise in Matlab and C# with the intention of implementing the required algorithms in the Eclipse ESAPI. Knowledge on proton transport physics for therapeutic purposes, and some of their biophysical properties such Linear Energy Transfer would be a huge plus.
The candidates with a PhD at the time of commencing the job will be given priority. Candidates without a PhD will not be excluded as long as they show solid experience on some of the required skills for the job
Additional Salary Information: Health benefits will be provided
Penn Radiation Oncology is dedicated to a three-part mission of excellence in patient care, basic and translational research, and the education of residents and students. We are committed to delivering excellence in every area and as such we steadfastly believe that “Excellence is Standard.”
Penn Radiation Oncology is one of the most comprehensive radiation oncology programs in the world. The o...utstanding faculty and staff, combined with Penn’s extensive collection of advanced technology, gives patients access to nearly every treatment option available for their cancer. The broad range of radiation treatments available include proton therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), high-dose rate (HDR) and low-dose rate brachytherapy, partial breast irradiation, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and Gamma Knife radiation. With the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Radiation Oncology provides patient care at the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and seven community-based sites
Located directly across the street from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine offers the latest radiation oncology equipment and technology, including five of the most advanced linear accelerators, two CT simulators, a PET CT simulator and an MRI simulator.
With the addition of the Roberts Proton Therapy Center in 2009, Penn further expanded the array of treatments offered thereby providing adult and pediatric patients with options that previously didn’t exist. Penn's Roberts Proton Therapy Center is completely integrated with its conventional radiation therapy services. The Roberts Proton Therapy Center is the largest proton therapy center in the country with five treatment rooms, delivering one of the most advanced and targeted forms of radiation to patients.
Penn Radiation Oncology is not only committed to delivering top-flight radiation therapy, but also to enhancing and improving upon the patient experience by providing a full range of clinical services and supportive programs. An integral component of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Radiation Oncology draws upon the center's full resources to deliver the best possible comprehensive care.
Penn Radiation Oncology is particularly proud of its outstanding research program. Penn is committed to developing new biological and physical approaches for improving radiation therapy and bringing these advances to the clinic to benefit patients directly. In particular, Penn's researchers are known for developing novel approaches to biologically target molecular pathways and, thereby, enhance the effect of radiation on tumor cells, while not increasing side effects. Penn's work in tumor hypoxia and the tumor microenvironment is well recognized in the oncology research community, as are its programs in photodynamic therapy, radioprotection and DNA damage.
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