Loop: there’s no going back: A Graphic Novel by Adolescent Cancer Patients on the Youth Project in Milan

Andrea Ferrari, Laura Veneroni, Stefano Signoroni, Matteo Silva, Paola Gaggiotti, Michela Casanova, Stefano Chiaravalli, Carlo Alfredo Clerici, Tullio Proserpio, Maura Massimino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The present paper describes the story of the development of a graphic novel—a story about superheroes—written by adolescent cancer patients on the Youth Project at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan (Italy). Nineteen patients from fifteen to twenty-five years old (fifteen receiving treatment for their cancer, four who had recently completed their treatments) participated in a four month creative writing laboratory managed by a professional teacher. The output from the writing laboratory was a written text that was used as the script for a graphic novel drawn by professional cartoonists and working together with the patients. Through their story, adolescent patients succeeded in voicing their dreams and fears. It was the adolescent patients themselves who explained how they had each tried to bring out the superhero inside them. This project describes the amazing powers of adolescents with cancer and opens a precious window on their inner world, enabling us to gain a better understanding of what they are really thinking and feeling through their own words.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-511
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Humanities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Art
  • Cancer
  • Graphic novel
  • Project
  • Support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy


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