Paoli-Calmettes is a private, non-profit comprehensive cancer center created in the 1920s, which gathers research and provides patient care and education.

Based in Marseille, France, the Institute is one of the largest cancer centers in the region. It is a member of UNICANCER, a national cancer center federation which brings together 20 different comprehensive cancer centers in France. The Institute provides a holistic approach to providing global care for cancer patients—from the diagnosis to post-treatment—through a multidisciplinary, integrated, and collaborative community of physicians and scientists.

The center employs 1,580 employees—275 researchers, 197 medical physicians, and health and administrative staff—engaged in wide range of activities on site: prevention, research, treatment, and education.

In 2016, IPC registered more than 91,000 consultations—among which 3,185 were oncogenetic consultations—and treated more than 10,000 new patients. In the same period, our staff and doctors performed 4,065 surgical admissions, 5,220 endoscopies, 313 bone marrow transplants, and 38,195 chemotherapy treatments.

In addition, more than 275 researchers work in close collaboration with medical teams to offer cutting-edge scientific advancements and the highest level of treatment against cancer.

The Institute has 251 beds for hospitalization, among which 24 bedrooms are reserved for laminar air treatments. There are 75 beds for outpatient care, 12 operating theaters (three of which are dedicated to endoscopy), 2 surgical robots, 5 accelerators for radiotherapy, and, in October 2018, an IRM embedded accelerator, the MRDian®.

Our highly specialized medical and surgical consultations, reference imagery, and recognized competence in oncology guarantee patients the best management of their conditions and the best health outcomes possible.

National and International Certifications

The Institute has been licensed by the Haute Autorité de santé (or HAS, the overall French health authority) at the highest level since 2015, without recommendation, with an A ranking.

In early 2017, Paoli-Calmettes was the first national comprehensive cancer center to be acknowledged as a European referent on endocrine tumors by ENETS, the European Neuroendocrine Tumor Society. Decades ago, Paoli-Calmettes joined the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and, as an active member, will organize the annual congress in Marseille in 2018.

Extensive satisfaction surveys are regularly conducted by independent organizations to improve the Institute’s ability to meet patient needs and to improve overall hospital organization.

One of France’s Top Hospitals

Paoli-Calmettes was listed among France’s best cancer hospitals in 2017 by the French weekly newsmagazine Le Point. The magazine’s yearly ranking of France’s hospitals and health care providers is extremely influential and prestigious.

National ranking among public and non-profit private establishments:

  • 3rd for breast cancer treatments
  • 4th for gynecologic cancers
  • 4th for cancers of the colon and intestine
  • 5th for rectum surgery
  • 6th for adult leukemia
  • 9th for prostatic cancers
  • 15th for liver and pancreatic cancers
  • 19th for stomach and esophageal cancers
  • 22th for kinder cancers

Paoli-Calmettes is ranked first in the southern region for treating breast, gynecologic, colon and intestine, adult leukemia, and prostatic cancers.

Further information:


The Center offers the latest generation in imaging facilities (radiology and interventional radiology), nuclear medicine, diagnostic endoscopy, and a biopathology unit that provides anatomical, pathological, and molecular biology techniques.


Available treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, molecular and predictive therapy, radiotherapy, interventional radiology, and endoscopy.

Therapeutic and diagnostic innovation:

Paoli-Calmettes has a dedicated center for early-phase trials, and was involved in 246 biomedical trials and 354 international scientific publications in 2016. 18% of our patients are included in clinical trials.

Ancillary services:

From diagnosis to the most innovative treatments, holistic cancer management takes nutrition, psychological, social, and rehabilitation aspects into account for each patient. In support of this holistic approach, Paoli-Calmettes offers supportive care, including psychology, pain management, dietetics, physiotherapy, social support, adapted physical activity, socio-esthetics, and optimized health care pathways based on pathology as well as patients’ needs and ages (e.g. young adults, over 70).

Paoli-Calmettes has world-class expertise in research and treatment, and provides resources, expertise, and referrals for the following:

  • leukemia and diseases of the lymphoid tissue
  • pancreatic cancers
  • endocrine tumors
  • rare ovarian tumors
  • rare kidney tumors
  • prostatic surgery
  • breast surgery
  • rectal surgery
  • interventional radiology
  • endoscopy for treatment
  • complex radiotherapy treatments

Service to the community:

To ensure its mission of service to the community and equal access to quality care, Paoli-Calmettes has built structural partnerships with:

  • the Public Hospitals of Marseille (AP-HM), in particular for research and hematology.
  • the Public Hospital Group (CHICAS) of Gap: Paoli-Calmettes drives the radiotherapy service.

Paoli-Calmettes collaborates with 17 general hospitals in the region through advanced consultations, surgery, and oncogenetic consultations.

Paoli-Calmettes is recognized by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa) for its expertise. Notably, it is a national and European referral center for leukemia and bone transplants. It is also a:

  • national Expert Reference Center for endocrine tumors
  • regional Expert Reference Center for rare ovarian tumors
  • regional Expert Reference Center for rare kidney tumors

Different bodies—the Committee of Nosocomial Infections control (CLIN), the pain control committee (CLUD), the food and nutrition committee (CLAN), and surveillance data—are gathered within the surveillance, risk management, and security and quality (COVIRISQ) Committee. The committee works toward resolving particular risks and improving the Center’s quality management and global quality policies.

Equipment and Facilities

All platforms offer cutting-edge equipment:

  • The MRDian® Linac, with IRM embedded (unique to France)
  • The Intrabeam accelerator
  • A fully-equipped Interventional Radiology room for treatments such as cryotherapy
  • An innovative, integrated surgical unit with two surgical robots and 3D celioscopy equipment
  • Three theaters dedicated to interventional procedures in endoscopy
  • A curie therapy unit
  • A chemotherapy preparation unit, supervised by robots
  • Nuclear medicine: bone scans and PET scans
  • A new senology center

Research, teaching, and innovation are key elements of the Institute’s mission to provide the best care, and are critical to its commitment to continuous improvement in collaboration with regional, national, and international research organizations.

A decade ago, the Institute founded the Research Centre for Cancerology of Marseille (CRCM) which houses Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, Inserm, and Paoli-Calmettes on its campus. This unique campus reinforces the care-research continuum by facilitating innovation and speeding up patients’ diagnoses and access to treatment. In addition, Paoli-Calmettes has a dedicated center for early-phase trials and an oncogenetic research unit.

A building dedicated to research and treatment of pancreatic cancer will be open on this campus at the end of 2019.

Our research teams published 354 scientific studies and participated in 246 biomedical trials in 2016.

A platform hosts 22,910 biological samples (PGEB) for research. This platform is certified at the highest level. The clinical research is ISO 9001 certified.