The Daniel den Hoed Awards are presented yearly since 2004. The prize, worth € 250,000, is presented by the Daniel den Hoed Fund to young, talented PhD researchers. With this award the researchers can further realize their projects and scientific research.
The Daniel den Hoed Fund supports cancer research in the whole Erasmus MC.
Sophie Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Dr Sophie Veldhuijzen van Zanten holds a doctorate in training to become a specialist in Radiology & Nuclear Medicine. Veldhuijzen van Zanten has been awarded the Daniel den Hoed Award 2021 for her research into improving the treatment of patients with brain tumors.
“With the Daniel den Hoed Award I want to perform a first proof of concept study to confirm the potential of a treatment with Ac-PSMA in patients with progressive/recurrent glioma. This new, minimally invasive treatment option may have a positive impact on survival and quality of life, especially for patients with brain tumors, for whom treatment options have been limited or very drastic. ”
It has recently been shown that this principle leads to a reduction in pain and tumor size in patients with prostate cancer, with few side effects. This technique is not yet used anywhere in the world for patients with brain tumors.
Dr Jos Elbers is a radiotherapist-oncologist specializing in head and neck cancer. Elbers has received the Daniel den Hoed Award 2021 for his research proposal into a new radiation treatment to improve the survival chances of patients with head and neck cancer.
Survival rates after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer are poor. There is some evidence that survival rates can be improved by adding immunotherapy to radiotherapy treatment. However, radiotherapy also has negative effects on the immune system. The optimal balance between a stimulating and inhibitory effect of radiation, in combination with immunotherapy, has yet to be found. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that it is safe to, and the immune system can best be spared, by, (1) increasing the radiation dose at a time which can reduce the number of radiations, (2) varying the radiation dose divide and (3) irradiate with protons instead of photons. This modified treatment consists of only 20 radiation treatments, instead of the standard treatment of 35 radiation treatments.
This study is therefore an important first step towards new immuno-radiotherapy combinations to improve the survival rates of patients with head and neck cancer.