Research Areas

Research currently underway:

  • Cancer pain and its management.

Pain, both for its high frequency and its documented impact on quality of life, is one of the main symptoms of neoplastic disease.
About 80% of patients with advanced disease has moderate to severe pain; 30-50% of sufferers may also experience sudden exacerbations of pain defined as “Intense Episodic Pain”.

A correct characterization of pain in order to identify the underlying pathophysiology can significantly affect the therapeutic strategy.
However, the heterogeneity and complexity of patients with cancer pain are a significant research challenge.

The ability to predict the analgesic response, identifying individuals who have less ability to respond to standard treatment for basic cancer pain, and the definition of the possible pathogenic mechanisms that determine the onset of breakthrough pain as well as the definition of its treatment are the new starting points for the development of clinical research protocols.

  • Nutrition and lifestyle: The ANT foundation is dedicated to promoting research in the field of home artificial nutrition (HAN) and its appropriate use, whilst promoting correct eating habits for cancer prevention.
  • Psychoncology: The psychological and relational aspects play a central role in the management of patients in the advanced stages of the disease and their family.The research projects in this field are focused on the identification and evaluation of cognitive, emotional and behavior dynamics that characterize the progression of the disease, both for the patients and their family members, as well as the care team. Particular attention is paid to communicative and relational aspects and their impact on disease management.
  • Supportive Care: The different stages of oncological disease can be characterized by a great variety and intensity of symptoms that seriously compromise the quality of life of the patient. Support care in the early stages are designed to prevent and manage any adverse events associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy in order to ensure the morale and welfare of the patient and a greater adherence to treatment protocols both in terms of dose rate and the dosing interval. In later stages of the disease, the syptoms related to the disease are added to the symptoms related to the antineoplastic treatments. Hence the need to intervene with supportive therapies that can relieve both the physical complications and the emotional burden for the patient and their families through psychological interventions and psychosocial support.
  •  Suitability of the therapeutic assistance strategy: the aim is to make the best use of resources to ensure a uniformity of treatment approach, benchmarks and suitability of the patient’s treatment.
  • Spirituality

The spiritual dimension in the Home Care Assistance Program of the ANT Foundation
The research project will initially develop in two directions:

1) Exploratory study on the spiritual needs of ANT patients

  • FACIT-sp Survey + vital statistics / sociological data form
  • Findings inquiry in 5-8 Ant Oncological Hospitals-at-home (ANT-OHH) on spiritual needs in cancer patients followed at home

2) A study of spirituality / religiosity of ANT professionals (doctors, nurses and psychologists)

  • Daily spiritual experience scale (DSES) survey sent to all ANT doctors and nurses to be completed within a month

Reference : Dr. Martoni Andrea Angelo