The mission of the Centre for Neuro-Oncology, is to treat patients with tumours of the nervous system, particularly brain tumours, and to play an active role in the research of this field. It is a multidisciplinary team of specialists in the following areas: Neurosurgery, Neurology, Neuro-Oncology, Nuclear Medicine, Radio-Oncology and Neuro-Radiology. These professionals are supported by a palliative care specialist and highly specialised paramedical staff.
Psychological and social support is also available to patients and their families, right from the start of their treatment.
Brain tumours are diagnosed by means of an in-depth clinical assessment, followed by appropriate diagnostic imaging (CT scan, multi-parametric and functional magnetic resonance imaging, CT-PET) and if necessary, other specialist examinations (electroencephalogram, electrophysiology methods). The diagnostic and therapeutic procedure is then discussed during a multidisciplinary meeting ("tumour board" of Neuro-Oncology) in order to choose the most appropriate therapeutic modalities.
At the diagnostic and therapeutic level, the most advanced medical-technical modalities are available, including:
- Radio-oncology (Dr. med. G. Pesce, IOSI Radio-Oncology - Clinical Director, Specialist in Medical Oncology, Internal Medicine and Radio-Oncology): the latest generation of accelerators are used, together with high-tech planning and testing methods, which allow high-precision treatments, such as radiotherapy with volume intensity modulation, stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgery.
- Neurosurgery (Dr D. Kuhlen, Interim Chief, PD Dr T. Robert, Head of Service, Head of Cranio - Neurocentro, Lugano): highly selective neurosurgical techniques such as intra-operative monitoring, fluorescence and intra-operative CT, endoscopic, percutaneous and micro-invasive surgery, awake-surgery
- Neuro-Radiology (Dr. med. A. Cianfoni - Neurocentro, Lugano): imaging methods such as functional and multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, with perfusion sequences and spectroscopy. Spinal interventional radiology procedures, such as cementoplasty, kyphoplasty and tumour coblation and thermoablation
- Neurology (Prof. Dr Med. A. Kaelin, Dr. C. Prosperetti): Advanced clinical and electrophysiological and electroencephalographic evaluation techniques, consultation with international reference centres
- Istituto Cantonale di Patologia (Prof. Dr. med. L. Mazzucchelli, Locarno): accurate evaluation of the tumour material, for a correct histological diagnosis, combined with the determination of bio-molecular markers (MGMT, 1p/19q, IDH) essential for the choice of therapy.
- Nuclear Medicine (Prof. Dr. med. L. Giovanella, IIMSI): morpho-metabolic and molecular imaging, such as 18FET-PET/CT and radiometabolic treatments.
The aim of these different techniques, used in a synergistic and integrated way, is to treat tumours in an increasingly precise and effective way, limiting damage to healthy organs to a minimum.
The IOSI/NSI neuro-oncology group works in close collaboration with national university centres and international societies (EORTC, SAKK) by participating in multicentre clinical trials. It also takes part in basic research with the laboratories of the Institute of Pathology in Locarno.