The Referral Cancer Center of Basilicata (CROB)

The Referral Cancer Center of Basilicata (CROB) is  located in Rionero in Vulture (province of Potenza), in the northern area of the Basilicata region (South of Italy). After a starting-up phase shared with the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan, in 2008 it was officially recognized (and confirmed in 2013 and 2015) as an autonomous, public, no-profit Cancer Institute for Research and Care (IRCCS) by the Italian Ministry of Health and the Regional Government. In 2015 the IRCCS-CROB  has been identified as “Clinical Cancer Center”  by OECI (Organization of European Cancer Institutes) and awarded as one  of the more efficient Hospitals in Italy by the Italian Ministry of Health.

The  IRCCS-CROB aims to improve public health by advancing medical knowledge, providing the best treatments within the context of a complete multidisciplinary approach to the neoplastic patient. In order to meet the assistance and research objectives set out by the national and regional health planning, a full integration between clinical activities and translational research is pursued. The Institute is also committed to ameliorate quality of cares and quality of life of patients, adopting the principle of the centrality of the person with respect to heath approaches, particularly  in women care and gender medicine.

The Hospital is a single building, with a covered surface of 32.000 sqm, 102 hospital beds for acute patients and 8 for palliative cares. IRCCS-CROB occupies a total of 431 structured employees, with different heath and administrative profiles.

A complete management of adult solid tumors and hematological malignancies is ensured by two  clinical Departments (Onco-hematology, Surgery) and two   additional diagnostic and therapeutic Departments including  Radiotherapy (the only one present in Basilicata), Nuclear medicine, Central laboratory, Endoscopy, Radiology and Pathology. These four  Departments are coordinated by a fifth, functional Department for the Clinical governance, which also include Cardiology, Pharmacy and Psychology services. Nephrology is also locally available.

The clinical core facilities comprise:  hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and palliative cares; thoracic, abdominal, breast, urologic, gynecologic and plastic/reconstructive specialized surgeries; pain therapy unit  (vertebro/kypho-plasty, vertebral stabilization); video-mediastinal toracoscopy 3D and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy 3D; conformational, brachi- and intra-operative radiotherapy  and metabolic therapies; PET-TC with novel tracers and  volumetric evaluation of neoplastic metabolism; 3 Tesla RMN with laser-guided system for micro-biopsies and high intensity focused ultrasound technology (Hifu) for the treatment of localized tumors; telemedicine assistance (oncologists, hematologist, nursing)  and informatic risk management.

Currently, the annual number of patients admitted for acute cares is about 3.000, that of day-hospital about 11.000,  while ambulatory visits and services are around 40.000 and 400.000, respectively. The IRCCS-CROB exerts a strong attraction from other neighbor areas; overall, the percentage of extra-regional patients is close to 50%.
The Institute coordinates the nationally accredited Basilicata Cancer Registry and regional screenings for breast, cervix and intestinal cancers. The units of Hematology and stem cell transplantation, Nuclear medicine and Radiotherapy hold JACIE, EANM/UEMS/AINM and ISO9001 accreditations, respectively.
According to the institutional research plan, the scientific objectives pursued are: a) new tailored treatments based on molecular traits of tumors (precision medicine); b) novel therapeutic targets and prognostic biomarkers; c) innovation in high technologies (radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy); d) tumor epidemiology, preventive/predictive medicine, quality of life and of treatments.

The current number of Researches at IRCCS CROB is around 60. The Laboratories of Clinical and Translational Research, occupying an area of about 1.600 sqm, are equipped with all needed facilities for advanced cytofluorimetric and sorting analyses,  cytogenetic, molecular and immune-histochemical diagnostics, as well as for cell cultures, updated genomic analysis, including  next generation sequencing (Illumina platform), bio-banking and  liquid biopsy.
About 500 scientific papers have been published so far in peer-reviewed journals, such as New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Cancer Cell, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood, Leukemia and Cancer Research, and many others. Around 270  clinical trials (comprising phase I and registrative studies) have been activated, with more than 4.300 patients enrolled so far.  The IRCCS CROB  Researchers are well positioned  in the first third of the 49 italian IRCCS Hospitals, in terms of impact factor and citation indexes.