Istituto Oncologico della Svizzera Italiana (IOSI)

ESMO Designated Centre of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care

Contact person Dr. Piero Sanna, Senior consultant, Department of Palliative Care
Address Ospedale San Giovanni
CH-6500 Bellinzona
Country

Switzerland

Contact Tel: +41 91 811 80 40 -
Web Istituto Oncologico della Svizzera Italiana
Istituto Oncologico della Svizzera Italiana, Bellinzona, Switzerland

History

The Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI) is a small comprehensive cancer centre located in Southern Switzerland (Cantone Ticino). It offers a broad spectrum of departments and activities ranking from basic to clinical research (phase I studies, national and international cancer trials) to clinical activities (haemato-oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and palliative cancer care). We operate both inpatient- and outpatient-units, located in the main facility in Bellinzona and in three other outpatient-units located in three different hospitals of Southern Switzerland (Lugano, Mendrisio and Locarno).

The clinical department of our cancer institute has four fully interconnected units: chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation, radiation oncology and palliative care. The Palliative Care Unit is a part of the Palliative Care Department of the institute and it represents a fully independent unit regarding human resources (personal of the unit) and logistics (designed areas in the Institute). The PC-unit consists of 7 fully dedicated beds for in-patient treatment. The Palliative Care Service is based on interdisciplinary mobile teams (composed by doctors and nurses) visiting patients in the cancer institute itself and in other departments (internal medicine, surgery, gynaecology, …) of seven hospitals of Southern Switzerland.

Profile

  • The Palliative Care Service consists of mobile teams operating in 6 of 7 hospitals in the whole area of Southern Switzerland
  • In the hospital S. Giovanni we operate a Palliative Care Unit with 7 fully dedicated beds
  • Our medical team consists in four fully dedicated physicians: Hans Neuenschwander, currently the head of the department; Piero Sanna and Claudia Gamondi, senior consultant physicians and Antonella Palumbo, physician assistant. Furthermore we have four fully dedicated nurses and two secretaries for the Palliative Care Service and 12 nurses operating the Palliative Care Unit
  • The Palliative Care Unit has seven beds located in five rooms (three single beds and two double beds rooms) completely devoted to Palliative Care and with fully dedicated personal, focusing on physical, psychological, psychosocial and spiritual problems as well as terminal cancer care
  • A further extension of the Unit (more beds) is being discussed at the moment. The Palliative Care Service offers mobile teams (team composed by one physician and one nurse) for the management of patients in other departments of the institute and in other hospitals (mainly in departments of internal medicine, surgery, gynaecology and urology) of other hospitals in our geographical area. In this setting we collaborate for palliative care expertise, medical advices and consultations by close phone, fax or mail contacts. We extended in the last two years, on a weekly scheduled basis, our physical presence in smaller mountain hospitals in order to deliver a more capillary expertise also outside the already mentioned main hospitals. In the Palliative Care Unit, patients are managed by a senior palliative care physician (carrying the medical responsibility for the patients management), by a junior palliative care physician (carrying the responsibility for the current daily management of the patients). These two professional figures are supervised by the head-physician of the Palliative Care Department (once per week scheduled meetings and clinical rounds and on demand). Mobile teams are composed by senior palliative care physicians and nurses. In the Palliative Care Unit the nursing personal works according to a “primary nursing” based concept. Every patients is managed by a personal nurse (carrying the responsibility for the nursing activities and care procedures). Physicians and nurses works close together and they share opinions and therapeutic decisions
  • Patients followed by the Palliative Care Department have access to many different services provided by the Institute and general hospital, as:
    • All internal medicine and surgical services (gastro-enterology, pneumology, nefrology, …visceral and thoracic surgery, gynaecology, ORL…)
    • Neurosciences: neurosurgery, neurology, …
    • Psychosocial issues: psychologie, psycho-oncology,…
    • Paramedical services: physiotherapy, ergotherapy, nutritional counseling and therapy
    • Alternative and complementary medicine: Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, …
    • Spiritual issues: chaplaincy, spiritual support,…
  • All usual medical technical equipment is available for patients followed by the Palliative Care Department
  • Furthermore our Palliative Care Department enjoys privileged contacts with the following Institutions in Switzerland and abroad:
    • Oncology Department, Kantonsspital St.Gallen (St.Gallen-Switzerland), Palliative Cancer Care (PD Dr. F.Strasser and Dr. S.Eychmüller)
    • Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (Milan-Italy), Palliative Care Service/Unit (Dr. C.Ripamonti)
    • MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston-USA); Symptom Control and       Palliative Care (Prof.Dr. E.Bruera)

Education Sessions

Educational sessions on a regular basis are offered to medical students, fellows and nursing students in the institute and in other hospitals of the regional area. Educational sessions on a regular basis are offered to house staff physicians and nurses according to an internal multidisciplinary educational programme (journal club sessions, onco-lunch-sessions and clinical conferences, …). Educational sessions on a regular basis are offered for oncology trainees operating in the institute, mostly coming    from Swiss and Italian universities.

Educational sessions on a regular basis are offered for medical visitors and observers coming to us via ESMO or ESO grants.

Educational publications:

  1. “Guidelines for the management of frequent neoplasia”, a booklet produced by the physicians of our institute, containing guidelines for the management of frequent neoplasia, including chapters on supportive and palliative care issues and problems
  2. “Palliativmedizin auf einem Blick”, a comprehensive booklet edited by the head of the Palliative Care Department and the Swiss cancer League, available in German, French and Italian language
  3. “The Palliative Care Manual”, a comprehensive multi-professional teaching document, available on the regional hospitals intranet, on CD and in a paper format, containg basic information and knowledge about frequent palliative care issues and problems

Yearly organized meetings and symposia:

  1. Bigorio Meeting: a three day-consensus meeting organized in Bigorio/Southern Switzerland with selected specialists from different fields of palliative care, the argument of the meeting changing every year
  2. Basic Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Course: a multi-professional basic course on palliative care for different caregivers approaching the field, jointly organized with the SUPSI (University Professional School of Southern Switzerland)
  3. The (regional) World Hospice and PC Day: promoting day in our regional area for issues relating palliative care (joint organisation with our local Hospice team)
  4. Bus Round: an interactive educational/teaching one-day meeting where specialists and participants visit patients at home
  5. Southern Switzerland Palliative Care Association: a series of multidisciplinary multi-thematic teaching conferences organized in our geographic area
  6. Southern Switzerland Symposium on Clinical Nutrition: a multidisciplinary, multi-professional teaching symposium on nutritional issues in cancer/palliative care, jointly organized with the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition

Specialities

The Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI) is a small comprehensive cancer centre located in Southern Switzerland (Cantone Ticino). It offers a broad spectrum of departments and activities ranking from basic to clinical research (phase I studies, national and international cancer trials) to clinical activities (haemato-oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and palliative cancer care). We operate inpatient and outpatient units located in the main facility in Bellinzona and in three other outpatient units located in three different hospitals of Southern Switzerland (Lugano, Mendrisio and Locarno).

Palliative and supportive care

Istituto Oncologico della Svizzera Italiana Team, Bellinzona, Switzerland

The Palliative Care Department consists in two different services: the Palliative Care Unit (for inside patients) and the Palliative Care Service (for outside patients via Palliative Care mobile teams). The Palliative Care Unit is a part of the Palliative Care Department of the institute and it represents a fully independent unit regarding human resources (personal of the unit) and logistics (designed areas in the institute). The unit consists of 7 fully dedicated beds for in-patient treatment. The Palliative Care Service is based on interdisciplinary mobile teams (composed by doctors and nurses) visiting patients in the cancer institute itself and in other departments (internal medicine, surgery, gynaecology,…) of seven hospitals of Southern Switzerland.