Radiation and targeted therapy combined approach in metastatic breast and prostate cancers – computational and biological evaluation


  • Call:

    ProtoTera Call 2023/1

  • Academic Year:


  • Supervisor:

    Rita Melo

  • Co-Supervisor:

    Joao Seco

  • Host Institution:

    C2TN - Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares

  • Granting Degree Institution:

    Instituto Superior Técnico (Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Typology:


  • Abroad Institution:

    Instituto Superior Técnico (Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Abroad Supervisor:

    Filipa Mendes

  • Abstract:

    The combined use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy has the potential to significantly improve treatment outcome of metastatic cancer. Notably, proton therapy is predicted to result in reduced irradiation of off-target tissue, sparing healthy tissue, and an improved patient prognosis. The aim of this study is to address a current medical challenge in the treatment of metastatic cancers by developing multiple approaches to enhance the apoptosis of cells which overexpress CXCR4 and HER2. Gaining a deeper understanding of the ROS-mediated signals induced by RT at the selected cell receptors is crucial in the attempt to contribute to optimizing cancer treatment. It will go beyond the state of the art, exploring complementary knowledge of the research groups involved in the areas of medical physics, radiobiology, and data-driven and computational chemistry, to systematically explore the potential synergistic effect between the use of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. This PhD project involves an exciting research environment, having access to the latest technologies in two academic institutions of excellence research: the Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares (C2TN), a research unit of Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa; and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), namely on the Division of Biomedical Physics in Radiation Oncology group, a reference proton therapy center in Heidelberg. This work will also benefit from the ongoing collaboration with Irina S. Moreira, a top-rated researcher in data-driven and computational tools from University of Coimbra. Biological assessment will be done both C2TN and DKFZ. Such research field domains are within the scope of the FCT and ProtoTera association, who’s main long-term goals are shared by the doctoral work plan proposed for this thesis, namely, to provide/ contribute to state of the art therapeutic options to breast and prostate cancer patients to increase cancer survival rates significantly.

Completion status

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