Department of Pathology @ Ospedale San Raffaele

Mission of the Pathology Unit has three aims: diagnostic, scientific and didactic  activities. Diagnostic activity is our first mission. We provide histopathological, cytopathological and molecular diagnosis for San Raffaele Hospital, as well as outservice for several other hospitals of GSD Group and other external Clinics. We receive also several cases from patients seeking a second expert opinion. The role of diagnostic pathology has moved from basic morphological observation to comprehensive tissue analysis through combined histological, immunohistochemical and molecular evaluations. Accordingly,  novel scientific achievements and technologies have been translated into useful clinical tests that provide a molecular fingerprint of diseases and that are predictive of the response to treatment. In our daily work we utilize these tools  into diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic applications. This approach involves yearly around 90.000 cases per year with a constant increasing trend. Our Medical Staff covers all the areas of Pathology with individual expertises in different fields. The histopathology lab is fully equipped with most updated instruments and is moving to diagnostics fully performed with whole digital slides - Digital Pathology.

The Oncologic Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory of our Unit is an accredited and certified multidisciplinary laboratory devoted to provide patients and clinicians with comprehensive and accurate molecular testing. Our laboratory performs a wide range of DNA and RNA based tests for solid tumors, hematologic malignancies and infectious diseases, utilizing a wide spectrum of molecular techniques and platforms to evaluate nucleic acids isolated from patient samples, including tissues, fluids and blood, for a comprehensive assessement  of altered genes associated with solid and hematopoietic tumors,  including lung, colon, breast, melanoma, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers as well lymphoid and hematological malignanci, for which  approved targeted therapies are  already available.

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Notable advanced technological equipment

  • High Capacity Digital Scanners for Digital Pathology;
  • NGS Instruments for Diagnostic Molecular Oncology;
  • 4 Benchmark Ultra and 1 Discovery Roche Ventana Instruments for immunohistochemistry, including multiplex immunfluorescence: Zeiss Metafer Slide Scanning Platform system for FISH automation.

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Meet our team

Head physician

Maurilio Ponzoni

Maurilio  Ponzoni

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Ospedale San Raffaele

The San Raffaele Research Hospital is a highly specialized multi-disciplinary medical center of world importance, which embodies the integrity of the treatment, clinical research and teaching activities. San Raffaele provides treatment in all existing medical fields, which allows this center to take care of the most complex patient cases. The Hospital is recognized as IRCCS (Scientific Institute for Research and Healthcare) for its research in molecular medicine and innovative treatments application, such as the gene therapy.

The hospital is a multi-specialty center with more than 50 clinical specialties available and with over 1600 beds; it is accredited by the Italian National Health System to provide care to both public and private, Italian and international patients. In 2018 the San Raffaele Hospital performed over 51,000 patient admissions, 72,000 emergency room encounters and delivered over 1.5 million outpatient medical services. It is widely regarded as the most celebrated hospital in the country and among the most reputable medical centers in Europe. San Raffaele’s wards and operating theatres are equipped with the most advanced machines, such as PET, PET/CT, Gamma Knife, Cyber Knife, Rapid Arc, Tomotherapy. San Raffaele’s Radiotherapy Unit was the first place in Europe to install Tomotherapy in 2004. Nowadays this Unit confirms to be one of the most experienced worldwide; it has developed numerous protocols for cancer treatment of the prostate, breast, central nervous system, brain, liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and others. The Oncological Board of the Hospital consisting of diagnosticians, clinical oncologists, immunologists, surgeons and radiotherapists, hold weekly meetings to discuss oncological patients’ pathways in a multidisciplinary manner.

Beside its Cancer Center, San Raffaele is well-known for its medical know-how in cardiology and cardiac surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal tract surgery, liver surgery, pancreas surgery, transplant medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, urology, dermatology, ophthalmology, immunology, rheumatology and pediatrics.

San Raffaele is a pioneer in the field of gene medicine and treatment of rare immunologic and genetic diseases. San Raffaele Scientific Institute is where the first in the world gene therapy with stem cells was created, named Strimvelis, for patients affected by ADA-SCID syndrome.

The Research at the San Raffaele Hospital focuses on integrating basic, translational and clinical research to provide the most advanced care to the patients. It counts on over 1,500 scientists, working in state-of-the-art facilities covering a surface of 130,000 square meters, and have produced over 1,446 scientific publications in 2018. Research at San Raffaele aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying a variety of important human diseases and at identifying new targets and new therapeutic strategies to treat them.

The San Raffaele Hospital hosts the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, a fully private university with a complete Medical School (including specialty courses and residencies), Nursing School, a Psychology graduate and post-graduate programs, and Allied Health Professions School. The mission of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University is to answer the question "Quid est homo?" in the belief that the human being is a biological, psychological and spiritual unicum. Since 2010 the San Raffaele Hospital also hosts the International MD Program, the only graduate program accredited to license Medical Doctors in both Europe and North America.


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