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IPO Porto opened in April 1974. Today it is the largest cancer care institution in Portugal and is the reference for 3.7 million inhabitants. It is one of the 10th largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe due to its highly dedicated clinical staff, state-of-the-art facilities, clinical and basic research and the commitment to deliver the best health care to cancer patients and their families.

Our institution admits about 10.000 new patients per year, providing, at the moment, health care to more than 45.000 patients. The main focus of all the organizational effort is the Cancer Patient – all the activity is planned to have the patient at the centre of all attention. Eleven multidisciplinary clinical units were created, the Pathology Clinics, offering, in the same physical space, almost all the clinical care the patients need according to their diagnosis. IPO Porto has the largest Bone Marrow Transplants unit and the largest Radio-oncology/Radiosurgery unit in Southwest Europe. 


The main mission of the Medical Oncology Service is to provide the population with oncological hospital healthcare with the utmost quality, humanism and efficiency. Its activity is ruled by values of a person’s dignity, social responsibility and participation, so it can contribute to the development and improvement of the institution in all its aspects, organisational, technical, human and social. Also, it is part of the Service’s mission to develop research, training and educational activities in the scope of Oncology.

It is composed of 25 physicians specialised in Medical Oncology. It is the main contributor for the training in Medical Oncology nation wide, receiving residents also from other medical specialties such as Internal Medicine, General and Family Medicine and Radio-Oncology.

It is located on the 3rd and 4th floor of Medicine Building of IPO Porto and has 46 beds available.

Clinical and translational research represents a relevant part of the activity: several projects are being developed in partnership with other basic research units of IPO and from other institutions; there is active participation in national and international clinical trials developed by EORTC and other collaborative groups as well as pharmaceutical industry.

Partnership with Academia is another important area of activity, having an active role in medical students training of Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (pre-graduated). In the Pos-Graduated teaching, besides providing Medical Oncology training for residents, has also a collaboration in post-graduate degree in Oncology provided by Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar.


IPO Porto treats all cancer types. According to the Ministry of Health, it is a National Reference Centre in Pediatric Oncology and also Oesophagus Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Sarcomas, Bone and Soft Tissue tumours, Rectal Cancer, Liver, Biliary tract and Pancreatic Cancer. Other specialisation areas include head and neck, central nervous system, skin, breast, digestive tract, lung, gynecologic, urological, skin and endocrine tumours.

It is the most developed clinical research centre in Portugal. IPO Porto has several research teams which foster translational research: cancer genetics, cancer biology and epigenetics, molecular oncology and viral pathology, experimental pathology and therapeutics and medical physics and radiobiology. A clinical research team of this institution was responsible for the phase 1 (first-in-human) clinical trial of the first cancer treatment being developed in Portugal.

Palliative and Supportive Care

IPO-Porto has had a palliative care programme since 1994 and is the first institution in Portugal to develop such a service.

IPO-Porto is the institution with the largest palliative care service in the country. There is a building designated for palliative care which opened on May 25th 1996, with 40 beds. Palliative Care Service (SCP) includes hospitalisation, external consultation, home care team and intra-hospital team.

The mission of IPO-Porto Palliative Care Service is to provide palliative care with the utmost quality, humanism and efficiency towards the patients, and their family, in an advanced stage of the disease.

The Palliative Care Service intends to be a national and international reference unit that provides the practice of research and education at several levels.

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