The Department of Radiotherapy was established to provide quality oriented state-of-the art comprehensive radiotherapy care since such a facility did not exist in the State of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and the surrounding region. The first two faculty members were recruited in October 1987 and following approval of the building plan by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, and the foundation of this Department was laid on 17th August, 1988.
Within a short span of two years, the construction of the Department was completed and it started functioning from August, 1990. It was possible to establish the basic infrastructure including the buildings, procurement of equipments and their installation within this period. On 7th August, 1990 upon getting the necessary clearance from BARC, Mumbai, the first patient was treated on the telecobalt unit - Theratron-780C. Since then, the Department has been actively pursuing its goal towards providing quality care in radiation oncology for patients referred both from within SGPGI and those from other medical colleges of UP and the adjoining states.
Presently nearly 60% of the patients registered in the Department are from the superspecialties of the Institute and the remaining are referrals from elsewhere. Head and neck, gastrointestinal, gynecological, urological, breast and central nervous system malignancies are the commonest cancers that are registered in the Department. The Department runs outpatient service 5 days a week – Monday through Friday.
The motto of the Department is “Quality assured radiation therapy”. The Department is well equipped in terms of equipment and trained manpower. It has a highly dedicated and motivated team to achieve this goal. It is equipped with facilities of dual energy linear accelerator, high dose rate brachytherapy systems, telecobalt unit, simulators, computerized 3-D radiation therapy planning systems, and mould room facilities for fabrication of blocks, compensators and other devices. Apart from these, there is a very well equipped medical physics laboratory to provide the backup support to deliver and monitor quality radiation therapy in cancer patients. The Department started interstitial high dose rate brachytherapy with the installation of HDR-Microselectron on August 1997 and the new simulator CT and ISIS 3-D treatment planning system were installed in 2002. The new low energy linear accelerator Clinac 600C will have been commissioned in January 2005. TSG Radplan treatment planning system will have been upgraded by January 2005.
A tumour biology laboratory has also been established within the department and is involved in various tumour cytogenetic, cytokinetic and tumour predictive assays. The department has been engaged in research projects involving plasma glutathione, micronuclei assays from peripheral blood (leucocytes) and vaginal smears from patients of carcinoma cervix undergoing radiotherapy. Apart from these, the department is also investigating the role of p-53, apoptosis and p53 antibodies for response predication in head and neck tumours and astrocytomas grade III and IV. The department has received a grant of about Rs. 16 Crore from the Department of Science and Technology for infrastructure development and will shortly install a high-energy linear accelerator, a multislice CT scanner and a tele-radiotherapy network dedicated for Radiotherapy, which initially would be linked with the Department of Radiotherapy at King Georges Medical University followed by links with other medical colleges of the state of Uttar Pradesh.
The Institute has been accorded a status of a Regional Cancer Centre by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare on the strength of its existing cancer treatment facilities on a proposal sent by the Department of Radiotherapy. A grant of Rs 5 crores has been released to augment cancer treatment facilities. The department in its expanded form will be able to offer facilities for stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgery, conformational therapy and on-line portal imaging facilities along with image guided radiotherapy.