Dr Roberto Biffi MD

Dr Roberto Biffi MD, Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Surgery Specialist

Milan, Italy

Milano, Via Ripamonti, 435 (Building 1)

Speciality: Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Surgery Specialist

Languages: Italian, English

Degree: Dr MD

About - Dr Roberto Biffi MD


  • His research activity obtained a number of scientific awards and recognitions:

  • Premio di Operosità Scientifica on April 1985,  from the Lega per la Rifondazione dell'Ospedale Maggiore of Milano.

  • Scientific Award "Forum Giovani"- SERONO 1989, for research activity on autotranfusion in surgery.

  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the  "Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico",  Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico di Diritto Pubblico, Milano 1991.

  • Award for the best scientific paper  – Società Italiana di Nutrizione Parenterale ed Enterale, 1994.

  • Selection of a paper or the Year Book of Surgery, Mosby 1998.



1992 – 1992: Visiting Surgeon. Transplantation Institute and Presbyterian University Hospital, Pittsburgh-PA, US. Director: Prof. T. E. Starzl. Topic: experimental and clinical small bowel transplantation.  

1993 –2003: Fellow, Advanced Trauma Life Support ®. American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma. Program ATLS®.

1999: Visiting Surgeon. Centre Hepato-Biliaire,  Hopital Paul Brousse , Universitè Paris Sud, Villejuif, France . Director: Prof. H Bismuth. Topic: surgery of the liver and biliary tree.

2001 – December  2005: Instructor, Advanced Trauma Life Support ®. American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma. Program ATLS®.

2004 – November 2004: Course of laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery. ACOI School Associazione Chirurghi Ospedalieri Italiani. Modena Hospital (prof. A. Melotti). Final Diploma, full honors.

2006 –2007: Course of Medical Management for Directors of Clinical Units . IREF – Istituto Regionale di Formazione, Regione Lombardia. Final Diploma, full honors.

2006: Course of robot-assisted abdominal surgery. ACOI School - Associazione Chirurghi Ospedalieri Italiani . Grosseto Hospital (prof. P.C. Giulianotti). Final Diploma.



 1981 -1986: RESIDENT OF GENERAL SURGERY.   IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and  Istituto di Chirurgia d'Urgenza, University of Milano, Milano (Directors: Proff. V. Staudacher and G. Bevilacqua).

1986 –1987: RESEARCH  FELLOW .  Winner of a Reaserch Grant from the Italian Ministry of Health for a clinical study on protein metabolism  in septic and cirrhotic patients. IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and   Istituto di Chirurgia d'Urgenza, University of Milano, Milano, (Director: Prof. G. Bevilacqua).

1987 –1989: JUNIOR  ASSISTANT.  IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and Istituto di Chirurgia d'Urgenza, University of Milano, Milano (Director: Prof. G. Bevilacqua).

1989 –1993:  SENIOR STAFF ASSISTANT.  IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and Istituto di Chirurgia d'Urgenza, University of Milano, Milano  (Director: Prof. B. Andreoni).

1993 –1994:  CONSULTANT SURGEON. IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and Istituto di Chirurgia d'Urgenza, University of Milano, Milano  (Director: Prof. G. Tiberio).

1994 –2001:  DEPUTY DIRECTOR, Division of General Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, Milano (Director: Prof. B. Andreoni)

2001 –2006: CO-DIRECTOR, Division of General Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, Milano (Director: Prof. B. Andreoni)

2006 –2011: DIRECTOR, Division of Abdomino-Pelvic Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, Milano.

2011 –2014: DIRECTOR, Division of Abdomino-Pelvic and Minimally Invasive Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, Milano.

2014- present: DIRECTOR, Division of Gastro-Intestinal Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, Milano.



  • 1989-1992: PROFESSORE A CONTRATTO. Post-Doctoral School of Surgery, University of Milano.

  • 1993-2001: TUTOR. Post-Doctoral School of Surgery, University of Milano.

  • 2013: He received approval for tenure employment as FULL PROFESSOR OF SURGERY, as a direct result of a nation-wide centralized competitive awarding mechanism. Italian Ministry of Education,  University and Research, Rome.

Other Titles:

  • Fellow of the Italian Societies of Surgery (SIC), of Surgical Oncology (SICO), of  Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (SINPE, National Deputy-President);
  • Fellow of the European Societies  of  Surgical Oncology (ESSO) and of Artificial Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN). 
  • Founder of the GAVECELT Group (Italian Study Group on Long-Term Central Venous Access).
  • Fellow of the Society of Pelvic Surgeons.
  • Member of the editorial boards of Journal of Vascular Access, Nutritional Therapy and Metabolism, E-Cancer Medical Science.
  • Associate editor of European Journal of Surgical Oncology.
  • Reviewer of the Lancet, Annals of Surgery, European Journal of Surgical Oncology, Oncology, Supportive Care in Cancer.
  • Director of the European School of Abdomino-Pelvic Surgery in Gynecologic Oncology (ESAGON) – IEO Education.



Since 1994 Dr. Biffi performed more than 5000 major surgical procedures in the field of abdominal oncological surgery, treating esophageal, gastric, small bowel, colo-rectal, anal, liver and pancreatic cancers. His clinical focus has been on extensive application of minimally invasive surgical techniques (laparoscopy and robot-assisted surgery). He has also acquired substantial expertise in the multimodal treatment of abdominal sarcomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and primary / secondary tumors of kidneys and adrenal glands.

A significant portion of his clinical activity is carried out in close cooperation with the Division of Gynecology Oncologic Surgery, in order to implement multidisciplinary surgical treatment of advanced ovarian cancers within the Ovarian Cancer Center at IEO. Cases are regularly discussed with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, endoscopists andinterventional radiologists within multidisciplinary groups.

He also developed unique expertise in the field of long-term central venous access for chemotherapy, palliation and nutrition. Since 1994 more than 7500 catheters were implanted by Dr. Biffi and his clinical team at IEO, with substantial research efforts in this field being underway.


Area “Surgical Oncology of GI tract”:  “Principle investigator” of an International multi center randomized trial aimed at assessing the impact of a preoperative chemotherapy in locally advanced operable gastric cancer.

Active participation to research programs of adjuvant and neo-adjuvant treatment of colorectal tumors and liver metastases.

Active participation to the ROLARR international  trial (Robotic vs Laparoscopic Rectal Cancer Resection).

Area “Totally implantable central venous access devices”: he concluded a randomized  trial comparing  2 different devices for long-term central venous access in oncology patients.  He  carried out a randomized 3-arm trial for evaluation of the best approach to central veins for longterm chemotherapy.

Area “Artificial nutrition  in oncology”: he participated to a randomized multicenter trial comparing  total parenteral versus enteral nutrition in oncology surgery of GI tract, whose results were published in The Lancet. He coordinated an observational  multicenter national survey on more than  2 hundred advanced oncology patients submitted to oral integration of omega-3 fatty acids, with the aim to assess its impact on nutritional parameters and quality of life.

He concluded a randomized Italian multicenter trial aimed at evaluation of possible effects of parenteral administration of glutamine on postoperative infectious morbidity in surgical oncology patients.

He coordinated a national survey  on the prevalence of calories and protein malnutrition  in oncology Italian outpatients. Now he is running a trial on the impact of preoperatively administered malto-dextrins on postoperative resistance to  insulin and infectious complications in surgical oncology patients.

Area “ Venous thromboembolism in surgical oncology”: he concluded as Co-Investigator a national multicenter survey on more than 2 thousands patients, investigating  prevalence of deep venous thrombosis in surgical oncology patients. Moreover, he participated to  a multicenter International trial enrolling more than 2,500 patients receiving different anti-thrombotic drugs.



He authored 135 full papers, published in international medical journals, with a total  Impact Factor  (I.F.)  more than  450. He published more than  250 congress proceedings (mostly international). He was  Invited Speaker in a number of events. He authored Guidelines from international scientific societies.

Main scientific topics of research activity:  surgical  oncology of GI tract, robot-assisted abdomino-pelvic surgery, surgery of advanced ovarian cancer, central venous access devices, artificial nutrition, small bowel transplantation.



Education - Dr Roberto Biffi MD

1975 - 1981: Medical School - Medical Degree, magna cum laude - University of Milan
1981 - 1986: Post-Doctoral School of Surgery, magna cum laude - University of Milan
1987 - 1992: Post-Doctoral School of Urology, magna cum laude - University of Milan.

Membership - Dr Roberto Biffi MD

Director of the Division of Gastro-Intestinal Surgery at the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy


  • Italian Societies of Surgery (SIC) & Surgical Oncology (SICO)
  • Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (SINPE, National Deputy-President);
  • European Societies of  Surgical Oncology (ESSO) and of Artificial Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN). 
  • Society of Pelvic Surgeons.

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