The Department of Radiotherapy was granted Regional Cancer Centre status by the Ministry in 2002. An Oncology ward was established in 2006. The MoHFW, Government of India, has subsequently accorded sanction for construction of a separate RCC building. Accordingly, a separate block for Regional Cancer Centre with a capacity for 82 inpatient beds (including 20 special ward beds), outpatient facilities, day care center, ICU, etc has been constructed. The RCC building, with wards and OPD blocks, was inaugurated on 23.01.2008.
In 2008, JIPMER was made an Institution of National Importance under an Act of Parliament (JIPMER Puducherry Act, 2008) and charged with responsibilities to develop teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in all branches. All cancer treatments including high precision Intensity-modulated and Image-Guided Radiotherapy, as well as latest chemotherapy, are given free-of-charge to poor patients and high precision radiotherapy at very token charges for affordable patients to cover the cost of consumables. This makes JIPMER a unique center where poor patients can get free treatments for cancer treated with the state-of-the-art technology. Patients below the poverty line are given benefit through Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) scheme where high-quality treatment is provided free to the patient. More than 35 patients have already availed this facility since July 2012.
Milestones in Development of Radiotherapy Department, RCC JIPMER
- 1964 – Setting up of radiology Department in JIPMER and provision of one Cobalt-60 teletherapy unit under “Colombo Plan”
- 1971 – Preloaded brachytherapy facilities started at JIPMER using radium & caesium sources.
- 1980 – BARC manual loading kit for brachytherapy used.
- 1982 – 1st computerized treatment planning.
- 1987 – Department of Radiology bifurcated into Departments of Radio-Diagnosis and Radiotherapy.
- 1993 – Theratron 780C teletherapy unit commissioned in JIPMER Radiotherapy department.
- 1996 – High dose rate after loading brachytherapy commissioned.
- 2002 – Department of Radiotherapy JIPMER accorded RCC status.
- 2004 – Single energy linear accelerator commissioned in RCC JIPMER.
- 2006 – A 30 bedded oncology ward started.
- 2008 – Commissioning of X-Ray simulator; new RCC building completed & commissioned with 82 beds & day care centre.
- 2008 – Hosted AMPICON (Annual Conference of Association of Medical Physicists of India, TN & PY Chapter).
- May: 1st batch of MD (Radiotherapy) students enrolled.
- 2010 – Addition of new faculty, medical physics staff.
- August: 1st batch of B.Sc Medical Radiation technology students enrolled.
- 2011 – New equipment block started in RCC with new ARIA TPS, CLINAC iX linear accelerator, GammaMed Plus iX HDR, T simulator.
- Telemedicine facilities started with link up with GH Yanam, Mandya, Kidwai Institute Bangalore & Kancheepuram for practitioners to directly consult experts in JIPMER without having to send their patients over.
- May: Number of MD (RT) students increased per year to 4.
- 1st 3D-CRT treatments started in November 2011.
- 2012 – January: 1st IMRT treatments started;
- February: 1st Rapid Arc treatments started.
- September: On-Board Imager (OBI) installed, Stereotactic RT enabled, Special ward with ICU facility started
- October: The Department of Radiotherapy, RCC-JIPMER hosted (AROITNPYCON-2012) annual conference of Association of Radiation Oncologists India (TN & PY chapter).
One of the reasons for upgrading JIPMER as an Institution of National Importance is to facilitate quality research in all disciplines of medical sciences – basic, para-clinical, and clinical. Accordingly, all the faculty and staff are encouraged to do the research in basic, clinical and field aspects and to publish the results in the peer-reviewed journals of international repute with good impact factors. A Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) vets the research proposals which then sent to Institute Ethics Committee (IEC) for ethical clearance. All research activities in JIPMER have to obtain IEC clearance before starting the research activities. Most of the faculties in the RCC are currently conducting their researches, which were already cleared by the SAC and then by the IEC of JIPMER.
JIPMER also proudly released a bi-annually scientific journal on the occasion of AROITNPYCON2012 to foster research and publications in the oncology community. The very 1st issue of this journal was released in the inauguration programme of AROITNPYCON2012; and in which featured articles include contributions from institutions all over India like AIIMS, RCC Trivandrum, etc.