Knowledge translation in challenging healthcare environments: The pioppo experience at the national centre of oncological hadrontherapy (cnao foundation)

Lorenzo Cobianchi, Francesca Dal Mas, Amelia Barcellini, Viviana Vitolo, Angelica Facoetti, Andrea Peloso, Maurizio Massaro, Alessandro Vanoli, Silvia Brugnatelli, Mario Ciocca, Francesca Valvo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Knowledge translation is the ability to translate concepts and ideas effectively among different stakeholders, leading to innovation and new knowledge. Translating knowledge is particularly challenging in the healthcare sector, which has been experiencing a shift from a centralized and sequential model of value creation to a more distributed and open model, where various stakeholders (including patients) act as co-creators of the outcome. According to management as well as the medical literature, knowledge translation in healthcare has been mainly seen as the translation of scientific research into clinical practice. However, different types of knowledge translation emerge, such as when multidisciplinary teams need to work together on a joint medical project. In this situation, multiple backgrounds, competencies, skills, and emotional feelings of the different stakeholders are a compelling barrier that prevents the effective transfer and sharing of knowledge. This is why knowledge translation needs a set of enablers to facilitate the transfer, sharing, and creation of new knowledge, innovation, and ideas. This paper investigates such a perspective by analyzing the PIOPPO project from the National Centre of Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO Foundation) in Pavia, Italy. The CNAO is one of the few dual-beam Hadrontherapy centres in the world that provides a beam that is able to irradiate patients with protons or carbon ions to treat radioresistant tumours. The PIOPPO project is an experimental phase 2 trial involving preoperative chemotherapy and carbon ion therapy to treat resectable and borderline-resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The stakeholders involved in the PIOPPO trial have different characteristics, both in terms of competencies and emotions. The PIOPPO multidisciplinary team includes highly skilled professionals from several disciplines, which are not all related to medicine (from oncologists to physicists, from biologists to surgeons). Pancreatic cancer patients are also involved while experiencing a challenging personal time. The paper analyses the knowledge translation flows, instruments, and issues among such different stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2020
EditorsAlexeis Garcia-Perez, Lyndon Simkin
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764815
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event21st European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2020 - Coventry, United Kingdom
Duration: Dec 2 2020Dec 4 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM
ISSN (Print)2048-8963
ISSN (Electronic)2048-8971


Conference21st European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Healthcare
  • Knowledge translation
  • Medicine
  • Multidisciplinary teams
  • Stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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