Policlinico Gemelli IRCCS di Roma

Pediatric Oncology

The Pediatric Oncology Unit of Catholic University - A. Gemelli Hospital of Rome is an important centre in Italy for pediatric oncology.

The centre provides tertiary cancer care for oncologic patients in every stage of disease from diagnosis to palliative care. Children and young people diagnosed with a number of different malignant and non-malignant oncological and haematological diseases are treated with the most modern protocols specific for each pathology that include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and target therapy.

The clinical service is enhanced by clinical and translational research, whereby the new findings and benefits discovered in basic research are translated to medical practice more quickly and efficiently - moving developments from the bench to the bedside.

International collaborations

The unit collaborates with important national and international research groups and consortiums such as AIEOP (Italian Association for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology), ITTC (Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer) and SIOP (International Society of Pediatric Oncology).

One of the main fields of translational research is the development of new agents by preclinical studies and early clinical trials in children.

Pediatric oncology staff

Pediatric Oncology

The centre is also involved in some educational projects aiming at the improvement of knowledge and training of young pediatric oncologists. The staff is composed by 6 medical doctors, specialized nurses and psychologists. Medical staff has specific expertise in pediatric oncology and with at least one year of training in qualified European centers.

For optimal conduction of phase I-II studies in children all required facilities and adequate sub-specialities are present in the hospital.


The Pediatric Oncology Unit at Gemelli Hospital provides a comprehensive service for the diagnosis and management of childhood leukaemia and solid tumours.


  • Lymphoid and myeloid leukaemia;
  • Hodgkin and non Hodgkin's lymphoma;
  • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.


  • Neuroblastoma;
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma and other soft tissue sarcomas;
  • Nephroblastoma;
  • Ewing's sarcoma;
  • Osteosarcoma;
  • Hepatoblastoma;
  • Germ cell tumors;
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis;
  • other rare tumor types.

Clinical trials

The Pediatric Oncology Unit performs Good Clinical Practice-conforming clinical research and is involved in several national and international pediatric clinical trials. The international trials focused on both newly diagnosed and relapsed solid tumours (sarcomas, brain tumours, neuroblastomas, and others).

Treatment protcols

Treatment protocols include the most recent antineoplastic agents as last generation chemotherapy drugs, immunotherapy (as Rituximab, Dimutuximab, and Bevacizumab), target-therapy (Lapatinib, Everolimus and others)

Pediatric oncology beds

The pediatric oncology ward consists of 10 beds, mostly single rooms, with two rooms with positive pressure ventilation, while the Day Hospital includes 5 beds.

In these facilities after diagnostic work-up patients can receive chemotherapy and supportive care i.e.:

  • platelet transfusions,
  • red cells transfusions,
  • antibiotic therapies,
  • and others.

Pediatric emergency department

Children with acute illness can access to the hospital through the pediatric Emergency department in accordance with the pediatric oncologist or directly through the admission to the ward. Emergencies can be assisted in the Pediatric Intensive Therapy Unit (PICU).

Ambulatory services

There is an outpatient clinic with dedicated expecting room for first level screening, therapies and clinical/radiological follow-up management.

Diagnostic services

Services dedicated to diagnostic are:

  • Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging that provides advanced level of expertise in neuroimaging;
  • Nuclear Medicine Unit with: Diagnostic Iodine-131 (Diagnostic Whole-body Scan); diagnostic 123-I-MIBG; PET CT scan; Technetium bone scan;
  • Hematology Unit and its laboratory of morphology, cytofluorimetry and molecular biology;
  • Pathological Anatomy Unit that interacts with national and international networks;
  • Pediatric Cardiology Unit, Endocrinology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Anaesthesiology, Dysmorphology, Orthopaedic, Neurology, and Gynecology;

Interventional therapeutic services

Procedures as lumbar punctures (diagnostics and therapeutics), central venous catheter implantation and bone marrow biopsy and aspiration are performed on a regular basis.

For each of these procedures we utilize a dedicated procedural room with the support of a pediatric anaesthesiologist for sedoanalgesia.

Furthermore, we have Pediatric Surgery and Neurosurgery Unit for the management of surgical procedures.


Children with tumors that require radiotherapy benefit of the Radiation Oncology Department that features the Gemelli ART (Advanced Radiation Therapy) a highly specialized Centre offering inpatients and outpatients cutting-edge clinical and technological treatment.

Patients with neuroblatoma can be treated with the radioactive compound 131-I-MIBG thanks to the collaboration with the Nuclear Medicine Unit and the presence of a shielded room for children.

Rehabilitation services

There is a service that includes physical and occupational therapy. Pediatric cancer patients are encouraged in physical activity even during chemotherapy treatment and the sedentary behavior is reduced. The extension of the physical activity depends on age, type of cancer and stage, type of treatment and limitations caused by the disease itself or by treatment complications. For extremely fragile children (osteopenic, immunosuppressed, low cardiorespiratory performance), adjustments to the recommendations are adopted (less time, less intensity and frequency and less workload).

Social care services

Agostino Gemelli Hospital University Foundation IRCCS developed a specific procedure to ensure the ''Continuity of Care'', defining specific integrated care pathway that involved the hospital itself and the social care services of the territory to support patients with advanced neoplastic disease.

Palliative care services

Physicians are specialised in care and support providing for someone living with a life-limiting illness. There is the Palliative Care Team, a multidisciplinary team that support the decision process and the implementation phase, procedures, therapeutic indications, location/premises requirements, training/professional education of the staff involved.

Gemelli Rome Triangle


Gemelli Rome Triangle