Ermanno Leo

Oncologist surgeon


Dr. Ermanno Leo is an oncologist surgeon at Casa di Cura La Madonnina, where he mainly deals with the prevention and surgical treatment of colorectal cancer.

After graduating from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Milan (1976), he specialized in oncological surgery at the Federico II University of Naples (1982).

Dr. Leo was trained at the National Cancer Institute in Milan, studying with leading specialists such as Professor Gianni Bonadonna, Professor Gianni Ravasi, Professor Umberto Veronesi and Professor Vinicio Catania. Since the late 1980s, he has devoted himself almost exclusively to colorectal pathology, and at the Cancer Institute in Milan he created and led until 2019 a comprehensive structure of colorectal surgery, unique in Italy, thanks to which a large number of cases of pathology have been studied worldwide.

In 1996, he was also a member of the Oncology Commission of the Lombardy region for several years, and in 1997 he founded A.R.E.C.O. O.O.n.l.u.s. (Association for European Research in Oncological Surgery), of which he is president.

In 2003, he was appointed an expert of the Supreme Council for Health by the Minister of Health, and since February of the same year, for several subsequent years, he has been a member of the working group of strategic oncological projects of the Ministry of Education, Universities and Scientific Research - the National Council for Scientific Research (MIUR-CNR).

He was a member of the prestigious S.S.O. (Surgical Oncological Society of the USA).

In addition, he received several awards and incentives, including:

  • Gold Medal of Public Health from the President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (2004).
  • Gold Medal of Honorary member of the Japanese Section of the International College of Surgeons for high achievements in colorectal cancer surgery (2004).
  • Order of the Knight of the Grand Cross, awarded by the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano (2006).
  • The Umberto Veronesi Foundation, in the encyclopedia "Health" created for Corriere della Sera, recognized the merit in the decisive spread of rectal-preserving surgery, of which he was a pioneer.

For many of the patients who needed to have their intestines removed and use an external colostomy bag, Dr. Leo developed a conservative technique of rectal function with a reduction in local-regional relapses from 30% to 8%. From 1990 to the present day Leo has performed:

  • more than 4,000 operations for general oncological pathology (breast tumors, melanomas, lung tumors, urological tumors and thyroid tumors);
  • 30,000 interventions for colorectal pathology;
  • 10,000 operations for the so-called ultra-low rectal tumors (which allow you to preserve the external sphincter of the rectum, sexual and urinary functions and avoid surgery for removal) is enough to be considered one of the leading specialists.

In February 2002, he established a Master's degree in Colorectal surgery to spread knowledge about conservative techniques, receiving recognition from Harvard Medical School for clear international leadership in the field of colorectal cancer.

A speaker at the most important international congresses, since 1996 he has conceived and created an International Symposium on Conservative Surgery of Rectal Cancer, bringing together and including the world's leading experts in this field.

He is the scientific Director of the Operational Committee for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at the Main Command of the Financial Guard (Rome), as well as a member of the Scientific Committee of the Main Command of the Carabinieri (Rome).

Author of more than 250 scientific publications.

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