Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram

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Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Regional Cancer Centre
Established 1981
Type Cancer Care And Research center
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 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 6 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 (RCC) in 1982 as part of the National Cancer Registry Programme of the Indian Council of Medical.Research (ICMR). 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]

Apart from clinical and scientific achievements, the Centre has pioneered schemes to help the less privileged socio-economic groups. In 1986 the highly innovative ‘Cancer Care for Life’ (CCL) scheme was launched with the idea of generating a welfare fund to cancer patients. A person who invested Rs.101 (about US $6 at the time) in the scheme just once in his life, will get all the benefits of treatment, travel and other expenses during the time of treatment in case he happens to 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. The corpus fund generated is an innovation in resource mobilization for developmental activities. [3] [5]


The RCC was created to meet the following objectives:

  • Evolving a comprehensive cancer control programme for South-Western India.
  • Offering state of the art facilities for diagnosis and assessment of cancer by histopathological, cytological, clinicopathological, biochemical, advanced imageology, endoscope, nuclear medicine and molecular diagnostics.
  • Providing facilities for state of the art treatment and management of cancer by radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation medicine and immunotherapy.
  • Establishing the necessary facilities for fundamental and clinical research relating to cancer. Providing an excellent palliative care service for advanced cancer patients.
  • Creating the necessary academic atmosphere for undergraduate and post graduate training in all branches of oncology in collaboration with other acknowledged centres of academic and clinical excellence.
  • Generating trained manpower for the region in the field of Oncology, both medical as well as Para-medical.


The Cytopathology Division provides all specialized investigations in addition to conventional histopathology and cytology. The Image logy and Nuclear Medicine Divisions use state of the art diagnostic imaging technology to provide accurate diagnosis. Pain management and palliative care for advanced and incurable stages of cancer are undertaken by a dedicated unit. The Center also succeeded in getting down and formulating morphine sulphate with the help of then College of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

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 reach modern oncology facilities to the less privileged in the community like children and less affluent members by giving totally 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 11,000 new cancer cases, more than 50,000 follow-up visits of old cases and more than 80,000 non-cancer patients for various 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.

It was only in the fitness of things that the Government of Kerala unhesitatingly declared RCC a Science & 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.

From a modest beginning, the Regional Cancer Centre has evolved into an internationally recognized centre for conducting a wide range of cancer research and providing state-of-the-art facilities for cancer diagnosis, treatment, palliation and rehabilitation.

Every year nearly 13,000 new patients visit the clinics from all over 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 any charges. Over 500 patients attend the OPD daily for medical advice, comprehensive care or for follow-up treatment.

The strategies for early diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, pain relief and terminal care have been established in a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach for a total cancer care programme. At RCC, Evidence Based Medicine is the keystone of our endeavor. Apart from the patient care and service, clinical research programmes and randomized trials contribute increasingly to improved delivery of care and highest standards of work ethics.


Another important area of progress over the last few years 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. Supportive care in the form of total rehabilitation, and counselling of patients is widely recognised to be very important aspects of therapy. Excellent work has been carried out in areas of rehabilitation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychology and medical social work.

RCC is a recognized 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 various medical and paramedical disciplines.


External links[edit]