The San Matteo Foundation contributes to the development of medical knowledge in Italy and worldwide. In fact, the San Matteo Foundation, cooperating with University of Pavia, is involved in biomedical research and highly skilled medical treatments, distinguishing by a marked integration between scientific research and clinical education. The Medical Oncology Division, now within the Department of Oncology-Hematology, was established in 2008 and over this period has gradually expanded. Since 2018 it is place of the school of specialization in Oncology, University of Pavia Medical School.
The Medical Oncology Division is organized into Subunits, which share in-patient wards and outpatient clinics, including a Day Hospital and Ambulatory facilities:
- The “Inpatient Acute Care Ward” includes 27 beds. The inpatient setting provides access to a full range of services ascribed to an acute-care general hospital, including availability of diagnostic laboratory and imaging services, access to a range of consulting physicians, including those with expertise in interventional pain management. Four staff physicians, one coordinator nurse, staff nurses and healthcare workers work in this Subunit.
- The “Outpatient Clinic” (Day Hospital and Ambulatory) is opened from Monday through Friday for planned treatments (chemotherapy, biological therapy, local therapies and supportive measures), medications, biopsies, thoracentesis and paracentesis, monitoring of patients undergoing experimental treatments. Six medical oncologists, one coordinator nurse, staff nurses and healthcare workers operate in this Subunit.
In the ambulatory setting physicians visit patients every day from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m., also in view of the planned treatment.
In San Matteo Hospital there is also a Pain Management Unit, held by Palliative Care specialists, who visit every day, and psycho-oncologists are present in the Division to take care of Cancer patients, in all the phases of their disease, and their relatives.
For nutritional support physicians and dietists of the Nutrition and Dietetics Service are available.
- The “Supportive and Palliative Care Unit” is located in the Belgioioso Site of the Hospital, about 20 km from Pavia, and includes the Hospice, the Day Hospice and the Palliative Care Ambulatory. Three times a week an ambulatory for Supportive and Palliative Care is also performed in Pavia by an Oncologist specialised in Palliative Care. The Hospice includes 10 large rooms with private bathroom, and bed for relatives who will stay overnight. Both for patients and relatives lunches are guaranteed. In the hall, books, newspapers, plants and flowers help to give a comfortable aspect to the place. Here, one palliative care specialist, one coordinator nurse, staff nurses and healthcare workers operate. Moreover, a chaplain is present in this structure, offering spiritual support to the inpatients and their relatives. The Supportive and Palliative Care Day Hospice and the Ambulatory that are opened on Tuesdays and Thursdays for treatments (hydration, blood trasfusions, parenteral nutrition, pain management, etc.), medications, monitoring of patients by blood tests and radiological exames. One Palliative Care specialist, staff nurses and healtcare workers operate in this subunit.
The Supportive and Palliative Care Unit, in April 2018, was re-accredited and reclassified, having certified the presence of all the structural staff and organizational requirements as defined by the Lombardy Region new regulations.
From the beginning the field of activity of the Medical Oncology Division was not purely cancer therapeutic, but has included the interdisciplinary cooperation with the Supportive and Palliative Care Unit, that was created inside the same structure. In fact our mission is also to improve the understanding of factors affecting the quality of life and quality of care of cancer patients and their caregivers. Clinical Audits are periodically organized, clinical meeting are weekly planned to discuss clinical case. Therapeutics approach for selected patients is discussed at such meetings attended by the personnel of the Units involved in the treatment process. The therapeutic choices and the treatment plans, including active therapies and supportive measures, are signed jointly by the physicians from various disciplines handing the case. All these specialists share the written practical protocols approved by the Hospital.
Palliative and Supportive Care
The Supportive and Palliative Care Unit manages the patient requiring control and stabilization of symptoms in a terminal stage of the disease or in patients with inadequately controlled symptoms at home. In particular this Unit, an organized highly-structured system patient and family-centred, delivers care that focuses on effective management of pain and other distressing symptoms, while incorporating psychosocial and spiritual care. It carries on projects and offers tools to help cancer patients and their families to cope with the disease. The mission of the Supportive and Palliative Care Unit is to prevent and relieve suffering and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. A multidisciplinary approach is guaranteed due to the close collaboration between the specialists inside the Division (oncologists and palliative care specialists work in team to offer continuity within a simultaneous care process) and with the other specialists of the hospital as well as with nurses and paramedical clinicians.
From 2016, in order to optimize the integration between Oncologist and Palliative Care services, a Palliative Care specialist is available in the Medical Oncology Division in Pavia for visits and consultations. In particular for management of severe symptoms, palliative sedation or to define the best care setting. The Palliative Care specialist is also available for consultations at the bedside in all other Units of San Matteo Hospital, including Internal Medicine, Hematology, General Surgery, Lung Clinic.
Dr. Chiara Broglia, MD, Person in Charge Palliative Care Unit - E-mail
Last update: August 2021