Research Center

Diretor: Doctor José Cabeçadas

Telephone: (+351) 217 200 400 | (+351) 217 229 800 (ext. 1106)


Research Centre (RC) promotes the development of basic, clinical and translational research activities in priority oncology areas, according to the priority health needs of the Institute, encouraging the cooperation among the various departments of IPO Lisboa and national and international similar entities and academic bodies. The centre fosters and supports the scientific training of the health professionals, boosts training courses in different research areas and contributes for the improvement of the of health care provision to cancer patients.

IPO Lisboa has a specific annual financial allocation to fund research projects. The Institute’s professionals can apply to the Research Support Fund with projects which address the priority research areas, which are approved by the Board of Directors, on a yearly basis, following the proposal of the Research Council.

In 2014, IPO Lisboa joined Nova Medical School, Centre for the Study of Chronic Diseases and António Xavier Institute of Chemical and Biological Technology to set up iNOVA4Health research consortium, funded by Science and Technology Foundation and community funds.
Since its creation and until the end of 2017, iNOVA4Health had 38 collaborative research projects submitted by institutions of the consortium approved; 15 of them involve IPO Lisboa.
During this period, the amount allocated to the Institute to implement the approved projects amounted to 500 thousand euros.

Priority Research Areas

Familial predisposition and cancer, rare neoplasms, combined therapeutics, customized therapeutics and preventable cancer.

Research in figures


Research Projects


Observational Studies


Clinical Trials




Research is in the DNA of IPO since it was created, in 1923, with the name of Instituto Português para o Estudo do Cancro (Portuguese Institute for the Study of Cancer). This name reflected the visionary belief of its founding members that the study and understanding of the mechanisms which affect the cancer disease are essential for its treatment, an idea which remained unshakeable over the 95 years of activity of the Institute.
In fact, Francisco Gentil has always supported that the Institute would have a strong research component, dedicated to the search of solutions for the cancer disease, focussing on the study and treatment of cancer, promoting scientific studies, issuing publications, organizing a special library and investing in scientific research laboratories. And so it is still, until the present day.

To learn about the research history of IPO and its protagonists see the book «IPO Lisboa – 90 years researching», by professor Edward Limbert.


The first scientific study on cancer in Portugal was a transversal epidemiologic research on its prevalence, undertaken at the beginning of the 20th century by professors of the Medical School of the University of Lisbon, appointed by Ministério do Reino.
It was carried out based on the appointment forms of São José Hospital and a survey sent to the municipal doctors. That survey included identification, disease nature details and the family history. The chance of infection was also mentioned. The findings of this study were presented in 1908, in Brussels, with a big success.
At that time, cancer became a topic of growing medical interest and Francisco Gentil was at the front line. It was due to the initiative of the young professor that the first appointment for cancer patients was set in Santa Marta Hospital, in 1912. Three years later, in 1915, he set up the cancerological studies section at the Surgical Clinic of Medical School of the University of Lisbon. He founded IPO in 1923.