The European Cancer Congress 2013

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ESTRO - Varian Award

Recipient: Maria Thor

About the Award: The ESTRO – Varian Award is given to a radiotherapy professional for research in the field of radiobiology, radiation physics, clinical radiotherapy or radiation technology. The work presented is completed as an individual piece of research or as a thesis in the field of biological, physical and clinical research.

Maria Thor began her PhD studies at Aarhus University under the supervision of Professor Ludvig Muren on a project entitled ’Prediction of adverse effects in pelvic radiotherapy accounting for normal tissue organ motion’ following an MSc in Medical Physics from Lund University, Sweden in 2009. Maria’s project included studies on how to include organ motion information for the key organs at risk in radiotherapy of pelvic tumour sites – the rectum and the bladder – when predicting the risk of morbidity in these organs.

The project demonstrated that both simulated and actual motion-inclusive dose/volume parameters have different and also stronger associations with normal tissue morbidity than dose/volume parameters obtained from the planned dose distributions. In the last study, associations between actual motion-inclusive dose distributions and prospectively recorded morbidity data were investigated and the findings provided evidence that deviations between planned and delivered dose/volume parameters (caused by internal organ motion) should be accounted for to improve our ability to predict morbidity following RT. Maria will present the most important findings of her PhD project during her award lecture.

Maria’s PhD project was performed in close collaboration with Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre (MSKCC), New York. Maria will continue such collaborations in her postdoc project, which combine patient-specific and population-based descriptions of organ motion and the potential of this strategy will be investigated retrospectively for prediction of morbidity and prospectively in the treatment planning of new patients.