Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram

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Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Regional Cancer Centre
Type Cancer Care And Research center
Established 1981
Director Dr. Paul Sebastian, MS
Location Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, IndiaIndia
8°31′13″N 76°55′28″E / 8.52014760°N 76.92451299°E / 8.52014760; 76.92451299Coordinates: 8°31′13″N 76°55′28″E / 8.52014760°N 76.92451299°E / 8.52014760; 76.92451299
Nickname RCC

The Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) at Thiruvananthapuram is a cancer care hospital and research centre. RCC was established in 1981 by the government of Kerala and the government of India.[1] It is located in the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College campus. It was established as an expansion of the Radiation Therapy / Radiotherapy department of Medical College Trivandrum. It is a tertiary care center for the managements of all types of cancer. The clinics are mainly on Hematology, Lymphoreticular, soft tissue, bone, head and neck, breast/CNS, gynaec/urinary, chest, gastro, paediatric oncology and thyroid.


The RCC was established in 1981 as one among six such centres (currently 26) in India. During the formation period the state government transferred a few departments of the Medical College,Thiruvananathapuram, which were primarily concerned with cancer care to the Regional Cancer Centre.[2][3]

The RCC is an autonomous scientific institution sponsored jointly by the government of Kerala and the government of India. It has been designated as a Science and Technology Centre in the health sector by the state government.The first Community Oncology division in India was established in RCC, Thiruvananthapuram, in 1985.[2]

Hospital Based Cancer Registry[edit]

The Hospital Based Cancer Registry (HBCR), Trivandrum, was established at the Regional Cancer Centre in 1982 as part of the National Cancer Registry Programme of the Indian Council of Medical.Research. The HBCR has been collecting information on cancer patients reporting to the RCC, Medical College Hospital, SAT hospital for Women and Children and Dental College, Trivandrum from 1 January 1982.[4]

Cancer Care for Life[edit]

The Centre has pioneered schemes to help less privileged socio-economic groups. In 1986 the ‘Cancer Care for Life’ (CCL) scheme was launched to generate a welfare fund for cancer patients. A person who invested Rs.101 (about US $6 at the time) in the scheme just once in their life gets treatment, travel and other expenses during the time of treatment in case they develop cancer. Consequent upon the winding up of the CCL scheme of Rs.101/- per policy holder, a new CCL project of Rs.500/- per policy was launched during 1993. [3] [5] at present the Kerala government provides free treatment to poor patients of Kerala origin, so the CCL scheme stopped.


The RCC was created to meet the following objectives:

  • Evolve a cancer control programme for South-Western India.
  • Offer facilities for diagnosis and assessment of cancer by histopathological, cytological, clinicopathological, biochemical, advanced imageology, endoscope, nuclear medicine and molecular diagnostics.
  • Provide facilities for treatment and management of cancer by radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation medicine and immunotherapy.
  • Establish facilities for fundamental and clinical research relating to cancer. Providing a palliative care service for advanced cancer patients.
  • Establish undergraduate and post graduate training in oncology in collaboration with other centres of academic and clinical skill.
  • Generate manpower for the region in the field of oncology, both medical as well as para-medical.


The Cytopathology Division provides investigations in addition to conventional histopathology and cytology. The Image logy and Nuclear Medicine Divisions use diagnostic imaging technology to provide diagnosis. Pain management and palliative care for advanced and incurable stages of cancer are undertaken by a dedicated unit.

A multi-user computer working in UNIX environment is employed for storing and retrieving of patient database. Software has been developed for data management by using relational data based management systems INGRES. Outpatient department, patient data management, accounting, clinical research, pharmacy and stores were computerized.

The Center has evolved policies and priorities to provide oncology facilities to the less privileged in the community like children and less affluent members by giving free chemotherapy and advanced diagnostic facilities like CT scan, isotope scanning etc. Nearly 60% patients receive free treatment and another 29 percent in the middle income group receive treatment at subsidized rates. Free chemotherapy is given to all children irrespective of family income. Adults with curable cancers also receive free treatment. During the last five years, drugs worth Rs.80 lakhs have been supplied free of cost to the low income group.

Annually more than 16,000 new cancer cases, more than 50,000 follow-up visits of old cases and more than 80,000 non-cancer patients for investigations report at the Centre. During the last five years, there was a 50 percent increase in the registration of both cancer and non-cancer cases.

The government of Kerala has declared RCC a Science and Technology Centre of Excellence in cancer research and treatment, and as a State research organization of the Ministry of Science & Technology of the government of India.

Every year nearly 16,000 new patients visit the clinics from South India and neighboring countries. Nearly 60% of these cancer patients receive primary care at the hospital of which over 70% are treated almost free of charge. Over 500 patients attend the OPD daily for medical advice, care or for follow-up treatment.


  • An area of progress has been radiological imaging techniques using ultrasound, CT Scanners, and more dynamic real time nuclear medicine scanning.
  • Pathology has progressed from basic histopathology to molecular pathology with emphasis on predictive assays for identifying the high-risk prognostic factors.
  • Work has been carried out in areas of rehabilitation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychology and medical social work.

RCC is a training centre for cancer education and research by national and international organizations such as WHO, IAEA and UICC. RCC is a post-graduate teaching centre and is affiliated to National Board of Examinations.It runs super speciality courses like MCh(Surgical Oncology) and DM Medical Oncology.It also started MD Radiotherapy and MD Radiodiagnosis. Every year about 400 students undergo training at the Centre in medical and paramedical disciplines.


External links[edit]