Jan Lagendijk is professor emeritus in Radiation Oncology Physics. He graduated in Experimental Physics with specialization Nuclear Physics at Delft University of Technology 1978. Since then he has been working at the University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Department of Radiotherapy. In 1984 he got his PhD for his work on the clinical application of hyperthermia. In 2003 he received the ESHO award, the yearly award of the European Society of Hyperthermic Oncology, for lifetime achievement in the field of hyperthermia. In 1998 he became full professor in Radiation Oncology Physics and started a research line on the application of MRI in Radiotherapy. As side path of the hyperthermia research line he worked on the development of safety guidelines for radiofrequency exposure by mobile telephones. His present focus is the research line on MRI in radiotherapy. Together with professor Bas Raaymakers and many colleagues he developed the MRI linac system. This system is able to visualize the tumour and its surrounding tissues, in real time, at the actual moment of treatment. This to guide and optimize radiotherapy and to prevent that normal tissues are being irradiated. His invention of the MR-linac resulted in the Elekta Unity system. With MRI it is also possible to find and characterize tumours and to characterize tumour response to therapy. His motto is ‘See what you treat’. At this moment the Unity MR-linac is brought in routine clinic, over 100 systems have been sold by Elekta worldwide. In close collaboration with Philips a dedicated radiotherapy MRI/PET simulator system is being developed. With this system motion corrected PET imaging is possible, with intrinsic registration between the PET and MRI. Together with the Unity system this creates the pipeline from PET based tumour detection and characterization towards MR-linac treatments. This is of extreme importance for the treatment of metastatic disease. With an MRI/PET small tumour lesions can be detected which can then be treated with the MR-linac. The MR Radiotherapy technology must create the next generation radiotherapy standard. In 2021 he received the ESTRO Klaas Breur award. This Award is the highest honour of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology.

Project IMDI/ZonMW Changing Horizons

Keywords: Radiotherapy | MRI guided Radiotherapy | MRI | Brachytherapy | Hyperthermia

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