The National Centre of Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO) project

Sandro Rossi, R. Orecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The CNAO (Italian acronym that stands for National Centre for Oncological Hadrontherapy) is under construction in Pave, about 30 kilometres South-West of Milan. It is a national wide facility conceived to supply hadrontherapy treatments to patients recruited all over Italy. Three treatment rooms with four beam ports (three horizontal and one vertical) and one experimental room have been realised. It is foreseen to start the operation of the machine and to begin the preparation to treatments in summer 2008. Recent statistics from the Italian Association of Radiotherapists and Oncologists (AIRO) have estimated that more than 3% of the overall Italian radiotherapy annual patients, i.e. more than 3000 new patients per year, would preferably be treated with hadrontherapy, but this number is steadily increasing. To efficiently recruit patients, it will be created a network to connect the CNAO to the national health system. Pre-selection criteria will be defined on the basis of established clinical protocols and the hospitals and clinics in the network will address to the CNAO those patients that satisfy the criteria. At regime, the CNAO will deliver about 20 thousands sessions per year of hadrontherapy. This paper outlines the organization of the CNAO Foundation, the project development, the technical aspects of the realisation and the clinical issues relevant for the CNAO startup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalRivista Medica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Carbon ions
  • Hadrontherapy
  • Protons
  • Synchrotron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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