PRIMORDIAL – An artificial intelligence (AI) driven prediction model to detect risk factors for medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaws

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


September 2, 2022


PRIMORDIAL – An artificial intelligence (AI) driven prediction model to

detect risk factors for medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaws

(ref. BAP-2022-544)

Last modification : Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The OMFS-IMPATH research group relates to the development and validation of surgical tools and image-based solutions to advance in oromaxillofacial surgery, with an ultimate aim to obtain an optimized treatment outcome while minimizing the peri- and postsurgical risks, such as neurovascular trauma.

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You follow a doctoral track: you carry out scientific research in the field of the described project, you go through the doctoral programme with the ultimate goal of obtaining a doctorate.

Bone health equilibrium can be altered by disease and the use of medication. Antiresorptive drugs are frequently used and highly effective to prevent bone metastasis in patients with cancer. Yet, their use is associated with the occurrence of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ), a potentially debilitating side effect characterized by exposed necrotic bone in the oral cavity, infection, and pain Although research on advanced MRONJ lesions have been published, so far little is known on the early disease stages, the initial imaging features and potential preventive measures related to early detection and disease prediction. Likewise, radiological risk factors to identify a successful outcome or therapy resistance have not yet been described. Therefore, the main objective of this project is to build an automated prediction model (radiomics) to allow prediction of MRONJ induction and its response to treatment.

This could be reached by the following subobjectives:

1. To identify the radiological and genetically predisposing factors to develop MRONJ

2. To describe risk factors influencing treatment outcome in patients with MRONJ

In order to obtain the subobjectives, 2 studies will be carried out:

1. A prospective cohort study to follow-up patients at risk for MRONJ development enabling to identify risk factors. 2. A retrospective cohort study in patients MRONJ that underwent surgical or conservative treatment to identify radiological features associated with treatment

In addition, you will provide teaching support including supervision of master's theses.

  • You have a Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences, Dentistry or Medicine and at least one honours degree.
  • You have an excellent knowledge of the English language, both spoken and written. It is assumed that you can speak and write Dutch very well.
  • You have a good knowledge of Excel and basic knowledge of statistical analysis. You have knowledge of interpreting medical imaging, more specifically panoramic X-rays and Cone-beam CTs.
  • You have the ability to critically analyse theoretical texts and empirical studies. You have a fluent writing style.
  • An important soft-skill is good communication, necessary to communicate fluently between different departments and to be able to explain everything to patients.
  • A plus is (a basic) knowledge of genetics.
  • You can work independently, but also work well in a team and show sufficient initiative.
  • You are able to carry out doctoral research under supervision.
  • Offer

    We offer a full-time, fixed-term employment contract for one year, renewable up to a maximum of four years. The intention is that the research will result in a PhD after 4 years.


    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Reinhilde Jacobs, tel.: +3216332452, mail:

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at