The QUARTET Project (Quality and Excellence in Radiotherapy and Imaging for Children and Adolescents with Cancer across Europe in Clinical Trials) is an established collaboration between SIOPE and EORTC that aims to improve radiotherapy treatments for children and adolescents by reducing the risk of local recurrence and increasing cure rates for children treated for cancer, in addition to minimising long term treatment-related side effects and maximising the quality of life for survivors.
Improving the effectiveness of radiotherapy has an important role in achieving better outcomes for childhood cancer patients. To achieve this, the QUARTET group is evaluating the effectiveness of radiotherapy in paediatric, adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers through an online prospective quality assurance programme, set up in partnership with EORTC. QUARTET offers prospective centralised review of radiotherapy delineations and treatment plans for every child and AYA treated in clinical trials, allowing necessary amendments to be made prior to treatment delivery.
QUARTET has been funded thanks to the generosity of Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner, a Luxembourgish foundation that provides multi-disciplinary support to families of children with cancer, raises awareness to improve the condition of sick children and actively supports paediatric oncology research with one goal: heal better and quicker.
QUARTET officially launched in 2016 and now has 16 projects in its portfolio: spanning all major tumour types affecting children and adolescents. These projects include retrospective RTQA analyses, prospective RTQA delivery, and both retrospective and prospective imaging studies. QUARTET currently delivers prospective RTQA for children and AYAs treated in prospective clinical trials for neuroblastoma, sarcomas, and brain tumours, and continues to expand as new trials come on board. More specifically, the project:
- Uses the EORTC radiotherapy quality assurance platform to deliver customised RTQA programmes
- Provides expert paediatric radiation oncologists and physicists to support the RTQA programme development and delivery for clinical trials implemented within the SIOPE community
- Operates in collaboration with the SIOPE Radiation Oncology Working Group and clinical trial group radiotherapy committees (Brain Tumour Group, Euro Ewing Consortium, European paediatric Soft tissue Sarcoma Group, Renal Tumour Study Group, SIOP Europe Neuroblastoma)
- Tracks all real-time quality control data
- Conducts research projects on a wide range of topics with many international partners
MAIN AIMS AND TASKS:
The QUARTET project offers a one-year research fellowship (renewable to a maximum of 3 years subject to funding) with the following objectives:
1. Development of standards for quality control of radiotherapy for paediatric & AYA tumours in Europe
2. Evaluate the role and benefit of implementing a benchmark case exercise as part of site approval procedures
3. To coordinate and participate in the assessment of the quality of the radiotherapy delivered; liaising with treating institutions and reviewers to evaluate plans and standardise both planning and review procedures
4. To report to trial sponsors and study leads regarding the progress and outcomes of the RTQA programme(s)
5. Support research into novel radiotherapy treatment schemes or techniques that may increase therapeutic benefit and decrease toxicity risks, including proton beam therapy and brachytherapy
6. Validation of the concept of prospective quality review in radiotherapy
7. Potential to register for PhD if agreement to extend post up to 3 years (or even to use related research towards PhD that has already commenced).
You will work closely with the QUARTET Chair and Project Lead to determine and deliver your individual objectives.
PROFILE AND SKILLS:
- Any medical (radiation oncologist in training for a minimum of 3 years) or health care professional with radiotherapy experience, particularly in planning and/or dosimetry
- Experience/knowledge of a variety of radiotherapy techniques, with an interest in paediatric radiation oncology and clinical trials
- Have an interest in research methodology and good research practices in radiation oncology - statistical skills are an asset
- Ability and interest to write peer-reviewed articles and grants, and to present in scientific conferences
- Excellent oral and written communication skills (in English)
- Good understanding of, and skills in, data management
- Excellent organisation skills
- Ability to work independently, under supervision of the QUARTET steering group
- Be motivated and have a strong sense of responsibility
- Be a team player
- Be able to work in an international and multidisciplinary environment.
A letter of motivation must be sent along with Curriculum Vitae, containing the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Permanent and current address
- Phone number
- E-mail address
- Level of all known languages: Reading/Writing/Speaking – Fluent/Good/Some
- Academic background since secondary school
- Professional qualifications and experience, especially in paediatric radiotherapy and clinical trials (please mention addresses)
- Experience with treatment planning systems
- Current position (please mention address)
- Date of availability
- A list of abstracts, presentations or publications, and examples of research related activities you have led or participated in
- Three referees and their contact information
- Two letters of recommendation
All documents should be written in English. Interviews will be conducted in English in mid-March 2023.
Support to the fellow is provided by a multidisciplinary staff including medical doctors, radiation therapists, and physicists. The fellowship will take place at the EORTC Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, where SIOPE also has its office, although there may be scope for some component of remote virtual working.
The fellowship starting date is as soon as possible in 2023. The fellowship is for a period of one year, renewable to a maximum of 3 years subject to funding. EORTC and SIOPE offer a highly stimulating, professional and friendly atmosphere, in an international environment.
Please send your Curriculum Vitae, a letter of intent and two letters of recommendation via e-mail no later than 27 February 2023 to firstname.lastname@example.org.