Florieke Eggermont, Ph.D.
I studied Biomedical Sciences and focused on Clinical Human Movement Sciences during my Masters. During my studies, I performed internships at the Sint Maartenskliniek and Rehabilitation department of the Radboudumc. I did my Master’s thesis within the Meniscus project at the ORL. In 2013 I obtained my Masters degree, and in 2014 I returned to the ORL to work as scientific researcher on the Bone Metastases project.
I obtained my PhD on 18 December 2019. I am now working as scientific researcher at the ORL on implementation of the finite element model, and as scientific lecturer for the studies Biomedical Sciences and Medicine at the Radboud University Nijmegen.
Bone metastases in patients with advanced cancer are very common and cause an increased risk of pathological fracture. Treatment is based on this fracture risk: patients with a low fracture risk are conservatively treated with local radiotherapy to relieve pain, whereas patients with a high fracture risk undergo stabilizing prophylactic surgery. However, in present clinical practice, it appears to be difficult to distinguish between low and high fracture risk patients, causing a large number of over- and undertreated patients. Therefore, we want to improve the prediction of femoral fracture risk in patients with bone metastases with the use of patient-specific computer models, i.e. non-linear finite element (FE) models.
Our FE models have shown to be promising in an experimental setting (Thesis of Loes Derikx). In my thesis, the computer simulations were validated in patients with cancer and bone metastases. Additionally, the computer simulations were further developed for large-scale clinical implementation. We are currently working on clinical implementation of the FE model, which we now call BOneStrength score (or BOS score).