Proton-ddr: elucidating mechanisms of proton-induced dna damage response and molecular signatures to enhance tumor control


Principal Investigators: prof. dr. Marcel Tijsterman  (LUMC), dr. Jeroen Essers (Erasmus MC), prof. dr. Roland Kanaar (Erasmus MC), prof. dr.Marcel Reinders (TU Delft).

PhD students: Tim Heemskerk (Erasmus MC), Colm Seale (TU Delft)

Funding: HollandPTC-Varian 2019


We hypothesize that proton and photon irradiation lead to distinctly different biological effects that can offer new opportunities for clinical applications. Therefore, we aim to obtain a biological rationale to further optimise Proton Therapy, in particular for head and neck cancers. To this end, we will investigate:

  • Mechanisms of proton-induced DNA damage repair, molecular signatures, cell sensitivity, stochastic effects (as in genomic alterations) at different LETs.
  • Modulators that may be used in combination with protons to enhance tumor control, without affecting or reducing normal tissue damage.