The principal scope of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland is to deliver the most efficient, technically advanced and patient-tailored or personalised radiation treatment to cancer patients.

In the last half century there has been massive scientific and technological development in the field of Radiation Oncology which has in turn led to a significant improvement in the therapeutic index, which is simply an indication of the balance between cure and side effects. Nowadays, radiation therapy is often combined with surgery, systemic chemotherapy and biological therapies with the aim of maximising the chances of cure for the cancer patient. This is part of the Multidisciplinary approach to cancer care.

The use of highly conformal techniques (3D-CRT, IMRT, IGRT, VMAT) permit higher levels of precision to be reached which in turn, allow an escalation of the dose to the tumour volume while minimising the dose to the surrounding healthy tissues. This has significantly improved the quality of treatment and, importantly, it has led to a reduction in the risk of undesirable and sometimes unacceptable side effects.

The Department of Radiation Oncology is part of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI), a separately run Cancer Centre located within the Cantonal Hospital System (EOC). It offers state of the art hi-tech equipment that guarantees the highest standards of modern radiation oncology treatments. Its faculty and staff are highly competent and fully committed to excellence. The centre boasts among its range of equipment, one of the latest Varian accelerator models, that permits IMRT, Dynamic Arc therapy and in-room CT for online feedback on treatment. It also holds a brachytherapy unit which uses radioactive sources that are placed via an intracavitary or intraluminal approach. This combination of highly competent staff and state-of-the-art technology puts the centre at the forefront of clinical excellence in cancer care.

The Department of Radiation Technology with the two centres of Bellinzona and Lugano has affiliations with numerous national and international scientific organisations and regularly participates in multicentre studies (SAKK, IRMA, EORTC).