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Anaesthesia is provided for major Oncosurgeries, minor diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, children requiring CT guided procedures and radiation therapy. Pre-anaesthetic evaluation was done 6 days a week. The department has got State-of-the-art Anaesthesia machines like AVANCE to provide safest anaesthesia. It runs a modern 8 bedded ICU with ventilator and a 3 bedded step down ICU.

Research division concentrates on molecular basis, molecular diagnosis and prognosis of cancer. Main research areas are cell cycle regulation, molecular oncology, glycobiology, phytopharmacology, cytogenetics, molecular diagnostics and biopharmaceuticals. Studies on the significance of micro-RNA expression pattern and molecular dissection of TGF-Smad signaling pathway in oral carcinoma are some of the major areas of research in molecular oncology. Characterization of chromosomal abnormalities and search for genetic markers for prognostic stratification are going on for haematological malignancies. Cytogenetic studies on the effect of chronic low level radiation in the residents of high background radiation areas (HBRA) in Karunagappally, Kerala is also progressing. Characterization of active principles with antitumour and immunomodulatory activities and anticancer drug development from plant polysaccharides are the other areas in which active research is going on. Systematic renovation of the laboratories, generation of new research facilities and molecular diagnostic investigations for  better patient care were continued throughout the period. A fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) facility was established.

The routine activities include collection of blood from voluntary and replacement donors, conducting blood collection camps and processing and separation, issue of blood and blood components to RCC patients as well as to patients in hospitals in and around Trivandrum city The Division is  recognized as a Regional Blood Transfusion Centre by National AIDS Control Organization, which regularly provides kits, reagents, consumables and two staff members-one Lab Technician & one counsellor-to support its activities.

The Division has been functioning as the hospital based cancer registry (HBCR) of RCC and Trivandrum population based cancer registry (PBCR). The division conducted epidemiologic studies to assess the risk factors of various cancers and pattern of care and survival of cancer patients were assessed through various research programmes. Statistical design and analytical support is provided to research studies undertaken at RCC. The division provided guidance to doctoral students in epidemiology and bio-statistics under the Kerala and Mahatma Gandhi Universities. The division provided guidance in doing project work to post graduates in Bio-statistics/ Public Health and five students have completed their project work during the report period

 

The major activities are  primarily aimed at human resource development and primary and secondary prevention of common cancers. These are achieved by conducting trainer- trainee programmes, cancer awareness/education programmes, cancer detection camps and also through the functioning of early cancer detection clinic in the division.

This division provided a variety of treatment modalities for the oral health and radiation protection of teeth of cancer patients. These included procedures like oral biopsies, oral prophylaxis, conservative therapy, dental extractions, occlusal adjustments, therapeutic management of pre-cancerous oral lesions, pre and post-radiation care of teeth, reconstructive procedures like construction of maxillofacial prosthesis, management of ulcers, spontaneous bleeding, toothache, trismus etc.

The Division, one of the three major Centres of diagnostic radiology in the campus, other than SCTIMST and Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, caters to patients referred from other hospitals including SCTIMST. The Division has two 500 mA X-ray machines, 2 portable 60 mA units, 2 doppler and 1B/W ultrasound scanners, mammography X-ray machine with stereotaxy, mammotome biopsy unit, 16 slice MD CT and 1.5T MRI scanner with MR spectroscopy. The division hosts a comprehensive and unique breast disease diagnostic facility and a film library. The division works in tandem with divisions of Nuclear Medicine and Pathology. Steps were already initiated to digitize the X-ray units and to introduce the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).

The Division has been entrusted with the task of developing, implementing and maintaining the Hospital Information System and associated computer technology. It supports and maintains operational systems and provide training to hospital staff in the use of information technology. The division was placed third in Kerala state e-governance awards 2008 for pioneering applications in telemedicine in the areas of cancer detection and care.

The Division has been working on research projects in molecular and cellular biology and seeks greater and more comprehensive understanding of human biology and disease. The department has ongoing projects on role of estrogen receptor co-regulators in the development of breast cancer, the elucidation of cell signaling pathways in the development of breast cancer, gene environment interaction and susceptibility to breast cancer, molecular genetics of paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Kerala, and molecular markers as indicators of clinical profile, tumor characteristics and treatment outcome in squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx. Studies have also been initiated on the molecular mechanisms of multidrug resistance in ovarian cancer.

 

Library division continued to act as the knowledge hub of the Centre by providing the best possible Library & Information Services to its specialized user community for meeting the institutional objectives. The division marketed the products through a range of services from traditional to the technology-driven. In addition to its own patrons, the library resources utilise more than 400 graduate and postgraduate life science/medical science students and other health professionals from outside the Centre.

Medical Oncology Division is responsible for the diagnosis and management of haematological and lymphoreticular malignancies, sarcomas and other solid tumours where intensive chemotherapy is indicated. The department conducts outpatient clinics 6 days a week. Allogenic bone marrow transplantation was started.

 

The division has been entrusted with the management of Front Office, Medical Records, Pharmacy, Vehicles, Cancer Care for Life scheme, Patient accounts & billing, all kinds of patient welfare services and Public Relations activities.

 

Nuclear Medicine refers to the use of open radioactive sources in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The Division caters to the needs of patients of RCC as well as the rest of the state of Kerala and adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu. Bulk of the patient load continued to be in the thyroid section followed by patients referred for isotope bone scans. The Division has facilities for imaging (dual head SPECT Gamma camera) as well as for therapy (thyrotoxicosis, high dose therapy for thyroid cancer and bone pain palliation).

 

Hands and heart are two tools used by nurses in patient care even in this era of modern technologies. Nursing division is a round the clock functioning division responsible for rendering quality nursing care to all cancer patients. A notable achievement during the report period was the preparation of a 'Policy and procedure manual for nurses.

 

The Division handles childhood malignancies up to the age of 14 years. The Division actively participated in the teaching and training programmes of DNB Radiotherapy students of the Centre and other Paediatrics students from SAT Hospital, Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences, and CSI Medical College, Karakonam.

 

The Division has got  multifaceted activities. In addition to pain management, the division takes care of all aspects of patient care like psycho-social issues, lymphoedema care etc. The division maintained close liaison with NGOs like 'Care-Plus' and 'Asraya'. Care is taken to the door step to patients who are either poor or sick to travel from long distances within Thiruvananthapuram district and those from other districts were linked to their nearest Palliative Care Centre.

 

Pathology Division  provides quality diagnosis for optimum patient management through its three sections Surgical Pathology, Haematopathology and Cytopathology. In addition to the routine diagnostic services, the Division provides ancillary / additional diagnostic services of immunohistochemistry, frozen section reporting, flow cytometry, FISH and molecular tests which are at present available only in very few centres in the State. Division also provides expert opinions on referred tissue samples from various hospitals from all over the State. The Division is also actively involved in the community oriented cancer control programmes of the State, for early detection of uterine cervical, oral and breast cancers.

 

The division assures quality and calibration of radiotherapy equipments, treatment planning and dose computation. Radiation safety is ensured in Radiotherapy, Imageology and Nuclear Medicine divisions. The division  participated in inter comparison and external verification of dose output of treatment machines using TLD in BARC/IAEA programmes. The routine activities of the division involves daily maintenance, checking and repair of all teletherapy and brachytherapy equipments. Intraoperative, intraluminal and mould brachytherapy are done using Microselectron HDR.

 

The division primarily takes care of the solid tumour malignancies registered at the Centre. The division houses four Linear Accelerators, two Cobalt machines, one 4 slice CT simulator and a conventional simulator for radiotherapy treatment planning and an Arcadis 'C' arm unit for brachytherapy treatment simulation. Also housed are one LDR and HDR remote afterloading brachytherapy units. The Centre offers state-of-the-art techniques in radiotherapy like IGRT, frameless head and body SRT in addition to the already existing 3D CRT and IMRT. Various multicentric clinical research projects, sponsored by international pharmaceutical firms have been progressing in addition to in-house basic research programs.


From a modest beginning in 1981, the Division of Surgical Oncology has evolved into a comprehensive unit providing state-of-the-art surgical procedures for various forms of malignancies. The division is considered to be the one and only of its kind in the state with trained faculty and international surgical standards. The division forms a part of the multidisciplinary teams which offers treatment for solid tumors. On a day about 150-200 patients are seen in the various surgical OPDs and there are 84 inpatient beds under the purview of the division. The Division runs 6 major operation theaters and a minor operation theatre. More than 4500 surgeries are carried out in the division yearly. All major cancer surgeries of the head and neck region, thorax, abdomen, breast, bone and sarcoma and gynecological malignancies are performed by internationally trained faculties of the division. The division maintains a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with all modern facilities and also runs an endoscopic suite that offers all endoscopic diagnostic and therapeutic services.

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2011 Thiruvananthapuram Regional Cancer Center