General Hospital Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova (ASMN) – Reggio Emilia
Prof. Antonino Neri
The IRCCS in Advanced Technologies and Healthcare Models in Oncology is an Oncology Research Centre within the Local Health Unit of Reggio Emilia.
The IRCCS of Reggio Emilia combines high healthcare quality with orientation towards translational, clinical and health research activities. Recognized as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare in 2011, it is an integral part of Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova, a reference hospital in the Reggio Emilia province, which completed its union with the Company USL on 1 July 2017. It is equipped with 193 beds.
In recent years, the hospital has been reorganized according to the principles of Intensity of Healthcare and the integrated healthcare approach, owing to implementing various diagnostic and therapeutic primary-care pathways (PDTA) and multi-professional and multidisciplinary work. PDTA exists for disorders regarding Thyroid, Breast, Skin, Lung, Ovary, Colorectum, Prostate, Pancreas, Liver, Nervous System and oncohematological diseases. In addition, multidisciplinary case discussion groups work in a structured and consolidated manner on disorders of the gynecological, gastrointestinal, head and neck, mesothelioma and myeloma districts.
The Translational Research Laboratory and the Research and Statistics Infrastructure provide scientific, methodological, technical, and administrative support and help the development of clinical and translational research projects. In the last few years, oncological and non-oncological research has grown extraordinarily in dedicated staff, processes, facilities, and outputs.
At the end of 2016, there were 329 oncological studies, including experimental, observational, and genetic studies; 179 were experimental. In addition, 39 pharmacological oncological clinical trials were launched in 2016. Also, in the same year, more than 400 scientific articles were published in international journals by IRCCS researchers, of which more than 200 were of oncological interest.
The oncology research activities of IRCCS are developed along four research lines:
Line 1: Complex cancer pathology. This line of research encompasses all observational and experimental, retrospective, and prospective projects conducted on ‘complex’ cancer patients in terms of their biological, clinical, and socio-sanitary characteristics. The focus is on the genetic, biological, and molecular aspects of patients, and clinical response and treatment-related toxicities.
Line 2: Advanced Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies. It concerns projects for the study and evaluation of innovative Health Technologies in terms of advanced diagnostics, identification of new molecules or new fields of application. These technologies include new markers, drugs, molecular technologies, devices, algorithms, and classification systems.
Line 3: Care models and oncological pathways. This is perhaps the most innovative and characterizing research line of the territorial experience of Reggio Emilia: it concerns the design and structure of oncological paths and innovative healthcare models. It includes epidemiological, evaluating, and experimental studies on the impact of breast, rectum colon, cervix screening on the population. It is based on the interaction with the territory, particularly with the provincial Cancer Registry, which allows comparing the evolving data on the prevalence and incidence of cancer and the benefits of introducing new welfare practices.
Line 4: Targets and innovative therapeutic strategies in Oncology and Oncohaematology: microenvironment, inflammation, angiogenesis, and immunity. It includes projects and activities aimed at the study/evaluation of protocols directed at the microenvironment, angiogenesis, and immunology in Oncology and Oncohaematology through the therapeutic potential of drugs.
In 2016, CORE – the Oncology and Haematology Centre of Reggio Emilia – was inaugurated. It is a pavilion of over 15,000 square meters, which houses the oncology facilities (Hematology, Oncology, Oncology Surgeries, Digestive Endoscopy, Palliative Care and Psycho-oncology, and Pharmacy) with a total of 88 ordinary hospital beds, 36-day care beds, five endoscopy rooms, one of which is hybrid, and an Antiblastic Drugs Production Centre, where more than 200 operators work. The new research laboratories and the innovative Varian True Beam linear accelerator for radiotherapy were also recently inaugurated.
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