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Radiotherapy research unit

The radiotherapy research at the Bordet Institute focuses on the treatment of diverse tumor types, on several levels: preclinical, translational, clinical and technological.

  • The radiotherapy department disposes of a dedicated preclinical research lab that leads research in cellular and animal models, to study radiobiology, the immune effects of radiotherapy, and the synergy with other treatments.
  • The physics team develops new techniques to process imaging data and to optimize the technical aspects of radiotherapy treatments, and implements new treatment techniques in clinical routine.
  • Clinical research is focused on implementing new radiotherapy techniques, indications, treatment schedules and combinations with other treatment modalities such as immune therapy. A major part focuses also on the reduction of side effects, by altering the radiotherapy treatment or by optimizing the multidisciplinary care.
  • The technological research focuses on the treatment delivery, aiming to target the tumor as precisely as possible, to optimize the dose at the surrounding organs, and to improve patient comfort.

The radiotherapy research team develops independent study projects, often in collaboration with other labs and/or other university hospitals. The department also participates in several multicenter trials, coordinated by other universities or international organizations such as EORTC and ESTRO.

Research projects

See Radiotherapy and Medical physics too

Project 1

Immunomodulatory potential of combining radio-immunotherapy in a humanized mouse model
  • Project leaders: Morgane Cogels, Dirk Van Gestel, Mohammad Krayem
  • Funding : Association Jules Bordet, Fondation Lambeaux-Marteaux.

Project 2

The synergistic effect of a third generation hypoxia-activated prodrug combined to immunotherapy and/or stereotactic irradiation in PDXs humanized pre-clinical mouse models
  • Project leaders : Morgane Cogels, Dirk Van Gestel, Mohammad Krayem
  • Funding : Association Jules Bordet, Fondation Lambeaux-Marteaux.

Project 3

Chemo-Radiotherapy: p53 reactivation and DNA repair in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC).
  • Project leaders : Tycho de Bakker, Dirk Van Gestel, Mohammad Krayem
  • Funding : Association Jules Bordet, Fondation Lambeaux-Marteaux, Fondation Rose et Jean Hoguet.

Project 4

Immune landscape of rectal tumor after preoperative treatment with radiotherapy and chemotherapy for locally advanced rectal cancer (iLARC).
  • Project leaders : Chrysanthi Iliadi, Dirk Van Gestel, Mohammad Krayem
  • Funding : Association Jules Bordet, F.R.S.-FNRS- FRIA, Fondation Lambeaux-Marteaux,

Project 5

Development of a targeted theranostic platform combining magnetic nanoparticles and radiotherapy.
  • Project leaders : Dorianne Sant'Angelo, Fabrice Journe, Ahmad awada, Dirk Van Gestel, Mohammad Krayem
  • Funding : Association Jules Bordet, Fondation contre le Cancer.

Project 6

Radiotherapy and targeted therapies in breast cancer brain metastasis (BCBM)
  • Project leaders : Sabrina Khodja, Dirk Van Gestel, Alex de Caluwe, Mohammad Krayem
  • Financement : Association Jules Bordet, F.R.S.-FNRS- Télévie.

Project 7

Thera-NCT: "Development of new theranostic vectors for personalised neutron capture therapies"
  • Project Leaders: Dirk Van Gestel, Sébastien Penninckx
  • Researcher: Eloïse Rapport
  • Funding: Fondation Lambeaux-Marteau, FNRS via “Télévie” call
  • Collaborations: C. Michiels (Université de Namur)
  •  Description: The aim of this project is to develop fluorinated derivates of BPA and investigated their benefit in different clinical scenarios of neutron capture therapy.

Project 8

FLASH 4 Clinic: « Preclinical study of the radiobiological obstacles limiting the optimal clinical transition of the FLASH effect in radiotherapy »
  • Project leaders : Sébastien Penninckx
  • Researchers: Nina Blond, Coralie Destrebecq
  • Funding: Association Jules Bordet, FNRS via “Télévie” and “Aspirant” calls
  • Collaborations: V. Wittamer (IRIBHM, ULB)
  •  Description: This project aims at unraveling the impact of beam temporal structure and dose fractionation on the occurrence of FLASH effect. 

Project 9

D-CAF: “Development of new dosimetric tools for carbon, arc and FLASH therapy”
  • Project leaders : Nick Reynaert, Sébastien Penninckx
  • Researcher: Guillaume Houyoux
  • Funding : Région Wallonne via « Biowin/MecaTech » call
  • Collaborations: E. Sterpin (UCLouvain/KULeuven), Hugo Palmans (MedAustron; Austria) IBA et Thélis
  •  Description: This project aims at designing new ionizing chambers for carbon ion and FLASH therapies through Monte-Carlo simulations

Our team

Head of Radiotherapy Research
Dirk Van Gestel, MD, PhD

Head of Medical Physics Research
Nick Reynaert, PhD

Head of Radiotherapy Pre-clinical Research
Mohammad Krayem, PhD

Head of Radiobiology Research
Sebastien Penninckx 

Research teams : 
- Dr Christelle Bouchart,  
- Dr Alex De Caluwé,  
- Dr Tatiana Dragan,  
- Younes Jourani, EPM,  
- Dr Yasemin Karaca,  
- Dr Philippe Lambin,  
- Dr Philippe Martinive,  
- Sofiana Mootassim-Billah,  
- Dr Luigi Moretti,  
- Dr François-Xavier Otte,  
- Zelda Paquier, EPM,  
- Aurelian Quinet, EPM,  
- Filipa Rodrigues Sousa, RTT
- Dr Paul Van Houtte,  
- Dr Robbe Van den Begin,  
- Scientifics of Medical Physica

Radiotherapy Preclinical and Translational Research Unit
- Mohammad Krayem, PhD (Head of the Unit)
- Morgane Cogels, PhD student
- Tycho de Bakker, PhD student
- Chrysanthi Iliadi, PhD student
- Dorianne Sant'Angelo, PhD student
- Sabrina Khodja, Intern
- Celine Seghers, Intern
- Diana-Mihaela Frigioiu, Intern
- Anouk Maes, Intern

Radiobiology Research Unit
- Sébastien Penninckx, PhD (Head of the Unit)
- Guillaume Houyoux, PhD Student
- Eloise Rapport, PhD Student
- Nina Blond, PhD Student
- Coralie Destrebecq, PhD Student

Radiotherapy Research Team
- Clémence Al Wardi (PhD),
- Hélène Gislon (PhD),
- Carole Janssen


 Scientific publications

Cardiac safety of dual anti-HER2 blockade with pertuzumab plus trastuzumab in early HER2-positive breast cancer in the APHINITY trial.

Authors : de Azambuja E, Agostinetto E, Procter M, Eiger D, Pondé N, Guillaume S, Parlier D, Lambertini M, Desmet A, Caballero C, Aguila C, Jerusalem G, Walshe JM, Frank E, Bines J, Loibl S, Piccart-Gebhart M, Ewer MS, Dent S, Plummer C, Suter T
Year : 2023
Journal : ESMO Open
Volume : 8
Pages : 100772

Radiation therapy-induced left vocal cord paralysis following lung stereotactic body radiation therapy: A case report and review of the literature.

Authors : Pierrard J, Deheneffe S, Longton E, Henry S, Van Houtte P, Remouchamps V
Year : 2023
Journal : Cancer Radiother
Volume : 27
Pages : 69-74

Differential Biological Effects of Dietary Lipids and Irradiation on the Aorta, Aortic Valve, and the Mitral Valve.

Authors : Donis N, Jiang Z, DEmal C, Hulin A, Debuisson M, Dulgheru R, Nguyen ML, Postolache A, Lallemand F, Coucke P, Martinive P, Herzog M, Pamart D, Terrell J, Pincemail J, Drion P, Delvenne P, Nchimi A, Lancellotti P, Oury C
Year : 2022
Journal : Front Cardiovasc Med
Volume : 9
Pages : 839720

Heterotopic ossification and severe COVID-19 infection.

Authors : Benkhaled S, Gomes da Silveira Cauduro C, Alexiou J, Jayankura M, Van Gestel D
Year : 2022
Journal : QJM
Volume : 115
Pages : 201-203

The 3<sup>rd</sup> ESTRO-EFOMP core curriculum for medical physics experts in radiotherapy.

Authors : Garibaldi C, Essers M, Heijmen B, Bertholet J, Koutsouveli E, Schwarz M, Bert C, Bodale M, Casares-Magaz O, Gerskevitch E, Koniarova I, Korreman S, Lisbona A, Lopez Medina A, Maas A, Moeckli R, Moore M, Petrovic B, Piotrowski T, Poli E, Prezado Y, Reynaert N, Redalen KR, Stylianou Markidou E, Verellen D, Jornet N, Clark CH
Year : 2022
Journal : Radiother Oncol
Volume : 170
Pages : 89-94