News items Millions for better cancer treatment with radioactive substances and AI

14 December 2022

Scientists from Radboud university medical center and Radboud University will lead two major research projects with Perspectief grants from The Dutch Research Council (NWO). Both projects aim to improve cancer treatment. Frank Nijsen leads the research towards optimal radiation therapy for tumors from the inside with radioactive substances. Johan Kwisthout is program leader in using artificial intelligence to determine the most appropriate treatment. Companies, social organizations and governments are also participating in the projects.

Targeting cancer with radiation from within

Program: UNderstanding the RAdiobiology of therapeutic medical radioNUclides (UNRANU)
Program leader: Dr. Frank Nijsen (Radboudumc)
Total budget: 5,3 million euros

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Most patients with metastasised disease can no longer be cured. So-called radionuclide therapy can substantially improve their survival. Patients undergoing this therapy are administered substances containing radioactive atoms – the radionuclide. These substances will specifically move to and bind to the tumour, irradiating it from the inside. The UNRANU programme develops new production routes for these radionuclides, finds the best match between radionuclide and tumour type, determines the optimal treatment dose, and investigates how treatment effectiveness is influenced by the immune system.

Watch the video made by NWO here:

Selecting the optimal cancer treatment with artificial intelligence

Program: PersOn: Explainable, Maintainable, and Trustworthy Decision Support Systems for Personalised Care in Oncology
Program leader: Dr. Johan Kwisthout (Radboud University)
Total budget: 4,5 million euros

Each year, more people are being diagnosed with cancer. They will often receive a standardized medical treatment that disregards the patient’s expectations about their quality of life during and after treatment. The PersOn programme uses artificial intelligence to analyse all data available – of the type of cancer as well as the individual patient – to predict the expected outcome of various treatment options. Using this information, the clinician and the patient will jointly choose the personalised care path that maximises the probability of having the highest quality of life.

Watch the video made by NWO here:

About Perspectief

Perspectief is a programme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO), financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK). This year’s budget amounts to 27 million euros, of which 23 million has been contributed by EZK and 4 million by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Perspectief programme encourages researchers to form consortia with companies, government bodies and societal organisations. Together, they develop technological innovations that have a high impact on society and that help create economic opportunities for the Netherlands.

For more information about the Perspectief grants and an overview of all participating institutions, click here.

More information

Annemarie Eek


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