Humanitas University has been certified as a European reference centre for bladder, prostate and kidney cancer

Humanitas University has just received an important recognition: it has been certified as a European reference centre for bladder, prostate and kidney cancer. We spoke about this with Professor Nicolò Maria Buffi    Director of the School of Specialisation in Urology, currently attended by fifteen trainees (but the number will increase), four of whom will soon go abroad for a period of about twelve or eighteen months to join a clinical research fellowship.

Professor Buffi, what kind of recognition has the School of Specialisation you head just received?

“It is definitely a very important and also a very gratifying one. We are trying to create a training network for our trainees attending the School of Urology in Humanitas University and we are also structuring a new training programme divided by year. The latter will be based on an e-learning platform, a simulation centre and tutoring sessions in the operating room. However, the network only works when there is an exchange between different realities and for this reason, we have created a partnership with several European structures. We have therefore applied for and obtained accreditation from the European Association of Urology (EAU) as an EBU-EAU Host Centre, which makes us a reference centre for urothelial, kidney and prostate cancer“.

How does the accreditation process work?

“It’s quite a long and delicate one. First of all, to be accredited you have to be a centre with a high surgical volume. In Humanitas we do about 400 prostate cancer surgeries every year; another 200 for kidney cancer and about 70 for bladder cancer. These numbers are high, if you consider that on average a centre performs 100 yearly operations on the prostate, about 30 on the kidney and 20 on the bladder. But this is still not enough for receiving accreditation to such important centres.

What else is needed?

“You also need to demonstrate that you have a reasonable scientific production. This is why we asked the EAU to accredit us for this type of pathology. When they checked and saw that we fulfilled the right requirements, they certified us.

In practical terms, what does this accreditation mean?

“It means that a resident from another School of Urology in the European Community can apply to attend Humanitas University on a well-defined EAU-sponsored project for a research fellowship. Vice versa, our trainees can do the opposite and participate in calls from other institutions within the European Board of Urology. It’s a kind of “talent exchange” and it’s also an effective way to create an international educational network that produces excellent results within the field of medical research as well.


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.