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Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori

Milan, Italy

Person responsible for CTC programme administration: Marina Fregonese

Hospital overview

Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (INT) is one of the main national and international referral centers for the treatment and study of cancer and it is the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Italy. Since its establishment (1928), it has aimed to provide the highest standards of cancer care and to pursue pre-clinical and clinical research in such a way as to swiftly translate innovation into better prevention, diagnosis, therapy and rehabilitation for Italian cancer patients.

Istituto Nazionale Tumori strongly pursues the objective of multidisciplinary care, working through disease-based multidisciplinary groups. This provides the most appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic options, based on state-of-the-art scientific evidence, within a framework of integrated knowledge, resource management, and research support.

Istituto Nazionale Tumori has a long-standing record on rare cancers, serving as one of the Italian reference centers for several rare cancers, including childhood cancers, sarcomas, head & neck cancers, peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma and thymoma, neuroendocrine tumors, male genital tumors, rare female genital cancers, rare digestive cancers, in addition to haematological cancers. It coordinates the Italian Rare Cancer Network, i.e., a healthcare national network exploiting telemedicine for distant rare adult solid cancer case-sharing between reference centers and medical oncology facilities throughout Italy. It serves as the domain leader for sarcomas and for head & neck rare cancers within the EU "EUropean reference network on Rare Adult CANcers" (EURACAN).

Language requirements

Local language is Italian. The second language spoken at Istituto Nazionale Tumori is English. If Italian is not spoken, intermediate-level in English is required.


Please note that doctors taking part in a CTC in Italy will be subject to paying Italian tax

CTC programmes offered 

1. Pathology

Programme mentor:

G. Pruneri

Duration: 3 - 6 months
Type: Visiting Observership
Language requirements: Intermediate level of English required if Italian isn't spoken
Programme description:

The  Department of Pathology of the National Cancer Institute of Milan  includes Divisions of Surgical Pathology, Molecular Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, highly integrated and fully equipped with the most recent technologies, including next-generation sequencing platforms. Its mission is to provide clinically actionable diagnoses including all the prognostic and predictive data for patients with all cancer types except CNS tumors. The Department is also very active in translational research, focused on the discovery and the clinical relevance of predictive biomarkers, genomic and epigenetic profiling, and resistance to targeted therapy.

2. Radiation Oncology

Programme mentor:

 R. Valdagni, C. Fallai

Duration: 3 - 6 months

Visiting observership

Language requirements:

Intermediate English if Italian is not spoken

Programme description:

The Unit Radiation Oncology 1 (RTO1), directed by Professor Riccardo Valdagni,  and the Unit Radiation Oncology 2 (RTO2), directed by Dr Carlo Fallai, provide curative and palliative radiation to patients with a multidisciplinary approach, according to national and international guidelines or research protocols.  The clinical activity is driven by specialized pathology groups. RTO1 is in charge of the radiotherapy treatment of: breast cancer, pediatric tumors, tumors of the genitourinary district, tumors of the digestive system, lung cancer, soft tissues sarcomas and lymphomas. A specific clinic is reserved to patients who need palliative radiation. RTO2 is in charge of the radiotherapy treatment of head and neck cancer, gynecologic cancer, brachytherapy treatments, cranial stereotaxis and it has a unit with eight beds.

In 2018 1750 patients were treated in RTO1 and 610 patients were treated in RTO2. Particular attention and efforts are dedicated to improve new technologies, such as VMAT, IGRT (Calypso) and High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDRBCT). Hypofractionation is routinely used.  RTO1 unit  participates in international trials and focuses its research activity on the following areas: the development of predictive models of radioinduced toxicity with evaluation of clinical, radiomics and genetic variables and its international validation, specially in prostate cancer. Another research area regards comparison of toxicity data and predictive modeling in a European multicenter project (REQUITE) in breast, lung and prostate cancer; RT techniques and fractionations, such as hypofractionated and partial breast irradiation. The reasearch activity of RTO2 unit is focused, for head and neck cancer,  on a phase II study which involves and observes a multidisciplinary approach (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy with photons and/or heavy ions) on bad prognosis sinonasal tumors (SINTART) in order to get a more efficient and less toxic treatment both in operable or not operable patients. Research activity on  gynecologic cancer observes treatment quality in terms of applicability, clinical and dosimetric outcomes on locally advanced cervix cancer according to the european excellence standards. For some pathologies both of the Radiation Oncology units collaborate with Fondazione CNAO (the National Centre of Oncological Hadrontherapy).

Visiting observers can modulate their training within a unique pathology group or rotating in all the pathology groups of the Radiation Oncology units.

Tutors: N. Bedini, C. Sangalli, A. Cerrotta

3. Hepato-Pancreatic-Biliary (HPB) Oncology: an integrated medical-surgical and interventional training program.

Programme mentor: Vincenzo Mazzaferro MD PhD

Surgery, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Oncology, Interventional Radiology

Duration: 6 months
Type: Visiting observership
Language requirements:

English or Italian

Programme description:

Integrated, multidisciplinary program of diagnosis, treatment and research on malignancies of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas. The program, although based in a surgical-oriented Unit is a comprehensive HPB-Oncology clinical-based program, focused on combined approaches of distinctive specialties integrated in a single, multifaced scheme of decision-making and technical applications. Experiences on clinical trials, technical features, pre-clinical research, medical management of HPB diseases including transplantation are distinctive components that will be developed with the trainees joining the program.

Tutor: Carlo Sposito MD

4. Adult soft tissue sarcomas, bone sarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Programme mentor:

P.G. Casali

Duration: 3 - 6 months
Type: Visiting observership
Language requirements:

English or Italian

Programme description:

Medical Oncology 2 Unit is the medical oncology facility of the Sarcoma multidisciplinary tumor board of Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, which serves as one of the reference centres in Italy for patients with adult soft tissue sarcomas, bone sarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumours. The Unit also coordinates the rare adult cancer professional network within the Italian Rare Cancer Network and the Sarcoma domain of EURACAN, the European Reference Network on rare adult solid cancers.  A full range of inpatient and out-patient services are available for the management of sarcoma patients, covering all sarcoma subtypes. All activities are strongly multidisciplinary, in partnership with the Sarcoma surgical and radiation oncology units. The Unit is actively involved in several national and international clinical trials and has ongoing translational projects especially on very rare sarcoma subtypes. As part of the observership programme, free participation in educational events on sarcomas and rare cancers will be offered.

Tutor: Anna Maria Frezza, Salvatore Provenzano

5. Head and Neck Cancers 

Programme mentor: L. Licitra
Duration: 3 - 6 months 
Type: Visiting observership
Language requirements:  English or Italian 


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