Irccs Istituto Romagnolo per lo Studio dei Tumori Dino Amadori – IRST
Prof. Giovanni Martinelli
The result of an alliance between public (Emilia-Romagna Region, the Health Organization of Romagna, the University of Bologna and the Municipality of Meldola) and private (bank foundations in the territory and the Romagnolo Institute of Oncology (IOR) Onlus) entities, the Romagnolo Scientific Institute for the Study and Treatment of Tumours (IRST) has been operating since 2007 within the structures of the former Civil Hospital of Meldola (Forlì-Cesena).
The IRST aims to promote healthcare, study, and research, especially translational research, which yields results quickly transferable from the laboratory to clinical training for the direct benefit of patients.
As the principal element of the Health Service of the Emilia-Romagna Region, recognized as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare (IRCCS) in 2012 in the research area “advanced therapies in medical oncology,” IRST is the central node of the Romagna Oncology Network. In 2015, following the approval by the Territorial Socio-Health Conference, IRST and Health organization USL of Romagna started an Intercompany Program for the creation of the Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Network (CCCN) – an oncology network model capable of coordinating diagnosis, treatment and research.
Organized according to innovative approaches that place the patient at the center (care pathways and pathology groups), IRST manages clinical and scientific activities in four locations: Meldola (operational and legal headquarters), Forlì (Day Hospital), Cesena (Oncoematology Service, since January 2011) and Ravenna (Radiotherapy Service, since January 2014).
In addition to providing outpatient and day hospital services, the Meldola office has a 30-bed inpatient unit and a radiometabolic therapy unit (6 beds) and activities of more technological commitment, such as Radiology, Radiotherapy Oncology Pharmacy, Nuclear Diagnostic Medicine, Bioscience Laboratory, Biological Resources Center.
The Institute covers an area of over 1 million and 100 thousand inhabitants. It is equipped with facilities required to achieve proficiency for the management of studies, access to the highest levels of funding, national and international announcements, and dialogue on equal terms with the most qualified centers and institutions.
Among the instruments that are available for treatment, diagnosis and research, we highlight: tomotherapy, latest generation PET/CT Tomograph (combined with the on-site production – at IRST Radiopharmacy – of innovative tracers), systems for genomic sequencing, AIFA accredited Cell Factory for the production of vaccines with dendritic cells, a facility for cryopreservation of biological material for research purposes (Biological Resources Center), the most advanced brachytherapy instrumentation on the market (Ravenna office), two robots for the preparation of antiblastic drugs, and instrumentation for the diagnosis of skin cancer.
Four research lines direct the Institute’s activities:
- Appropriateness, outcomes, drug value and organizational models functional to the continuity of diagnostic and therapeutic pathways in oncology
- Innovative therapies, phase I-IV clinical trials and therapeutic strategies based on preclinical models, onco-immunological mechanisms, nano-vectors
- Precision medicine, gender, ethnicity and “geroscience”: molecular genetic mechanisms in cancer development, cancer characterization and therapy
- Genetics and environment in cancer development and progression and inhibitory mechanisms, exposomics, primary and secondary prevention
The main fields of application of IRST research activities are:
- CAR-T cell therapies: a new era for cancer immunotherapy
- Nuclear medicine in the context of personalized medicine
- Breast cancer: new personalized screening approach
- Health economics research and outcomes
- Clinical Omics: molecular diagnostics in personalized medicine
- Zebrafish: the future of animal models in biomedical research
- Single-cell multi-omics analysis: research and development
- Therapeutic phase and therapeutic discovery clinical trials
IRST is an active member of excellent European research infrastructures:
- European advanced translational research infrastructure EATRIS
- European clinical research infrastructure network ECRIN
- Research infrastructure on biobanks and biomolecular resources BBMRI
- EURACAN network: European network of rare cancer reference centers for the treatment of rare solid tumours in adult patients
the Bioscience Laboratory is the heart of the research to which are depicts the
At the heart of the research is the Bioscience Laboratory, where investigation and advanced molecular diagnostic of the Institute of Tumour of Romagna (IRST) IRCCS are performing. The Biosciences Laboratory is a multifunctional structure that, in its most recent organizational structure, is divided into two macro-structures: Advanced and Predictive Diagnostics and Research, organized into seven sectors. The Laboratory has a total of 45 employees (primarily biologists but also bioinformaticians and physicists). Thanks to the innovative Research Contract, they are professionally employed on a permanent or fixed-term basis.
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