Experimental oncology

Pancreas translational and clinical Unit


Head of Unit

Massimo Falconi


The aim of the Pancreas translational and clinical Unit project is to create an integrated pathway for pancreatic diseases, transversal to all clinical specialties, through a multidisciplinary team of clinical experts in the field of Surgery, Gastroenterology, Pathology, Nuclear Medicine, Radiology, Radiotherapy, Oncology, all working side by side with basic science researchers.

Research activity

Surgical studies are currently ongoing to evaluate the effectiveness of pancreatic islet transplantation in resected patients, to prevent the onset of diabetes and to reduce postoperative complications. The use of new neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy schemes has been being tested, together with new local procedures such as endoscopic ultrasound guided cryothermal ablation for pancreatic cancer.

Moreover, this group collaborates with the others basic research Units of IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele on:
  • the isolation of stem cells from pancreatic cancer;
  • the mechanisms that regulate growth, survival and immune system of the tumor.
Several studies on pancreatic and intestinal neuroendocrine tumors were activated in this unit. The pancreatic surgery is the lead center of an international multicenter study for the management of small incidental pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (PanNENs) and other studies with the aim to improve laboratory and radiological diagnosis of PanNENs are also ongoing. Regarding cystic pancreatic neoplasms, this group has established international collaborations to search new blood markers in order to predict the evolution of these lesions, as well as epidemiologic and quality of life studies.