Anja Rüten-Budde is our Mathematical Institute’s nominee for the C.J. Kok Jury Award 2020.
About Anja's research
When confronted with a cancer diagnosis patient and doctor are faced with a difficult decision: what is the optimal treatment, given the patient’s situation? Different options are usually available, each with their own pros and cons. An important factor in the decision-making process is chance of survival. During her PhD research Anja developed mathematical models to predict the survival of patients with soft-tissue sarcoma. This is a type of cancer that occurs in soft tissue like muscles and tendons. Areas that are commonly affected include arms, legs and lower abdomen. Based on specific patient’s characteristics estimating the probability of survival will help in deciding the best treatment strategy.
‘The best clinical models come from close collaborations between statisticians and clinicians.’
Anja used worldwide data of soft-tissue sarcoma patients with different characteristics – such as age, tumour size and tumour location – to estimate the survival probability for different situations. Her work is interdisciplinary and relevant for society. She developed a computer app which provides personalised probability of survival within a specific time frame from surgery. The PhD position was funded by the Dutch Cancer Society KWF.
Read more about Anja's research in this article of Leidsch Dagblad.