::Departments : Super Specialities : Medical Oncology
Department of Medical Oncology


The department had its beginnings on 4th March 1988 when Medical Oncology Services were made available under the 1st Medical unit.
Full-fledged department of Medical Oncology was started on 1st August 1990, with a Lecturer in Medical Oncology, Dr. P.K.Muthukumaraswamy M.D, D.M who is also the first qualified medical oncologist in Tamilnadu medical services and later became the professor & Head and served the department till May 2012. Dr.J.Jebasingh M.D, D.M joined as Assistant Professor in 2007.
In, November 2011, Dr. P.N.Rajasekaran M.D, D.M joined as Professor and Head of the Department.
The department has been functioning regularly and uninterruptedly since then, and has grown steadily to become recognized as amongst the best such centers in medical college hospitals of the country.  The department caters to the entire population of southern Tamilnadu.
The department was started with 12 beds being sanctioned in G.O. Ms (2D) No. 29 Health, dated 08.04.1994. The present sanctioned bed strength is 36 (male 18, female 18), as sanctioned in G.O. Ms No. 152 (Health) E2, dated 05.08.02. The department functions with the following staff: professor -one, Asst. Professor – one, staff nurse-one, hospital worker-one and sanitary worker-one.
In-patient services
The department caters to about 300 in-patients each month, out of whom around 250 receive chemotherapy treatments and the other 50 are patients on follow-up / investigations / supportive care. Pediatric oncology tumor board is being conducted regularly on Wednesday to cater the need of children with cancer.
Out-patient services
The department runs a daily out-patient clinic and provides out-patient chemotherapy services also.  Around 1000 new cases are registered each year.  Average attendance at the out-patient clinic is around 950 cases each month. Around 100 out-patient chemotherapies are administered monthly.  Each day of the working week is devoted to a separate sub-speciality.  Head and neck oncology on Mondays; thoracic oncology and hemato-oncology on Tuesdays; breast and gynaecologic oncology on Wednesdays; gastrointestinal oncology on Thursdays; orthopaedic oncology and genito-urinary oncology on Fridays; and pain clinic on Saturdays
Academic activities
The department is academically active.  Post graduates from the departments of medicine gynaecology, otorhinolaryngology, orthopaedics and paediatrics rotate through the medical oncology department for 15 to 30 day-spells as part of their training programme. Facilities are provided for postgraduate students to work on their dissertations. Some of the works completed are as follows.
  1. A clinical study of acute leukemias (1990)
  2. A clinical study of lymptomas (1991)
  3. Immunologic failure is Hodgkin’s disease: a study (1992)
  4. A profile of lung cancer at Govt. Rajaji Hospital (1993)
  5. Serum carcinoembryonic antigen as  a tumor marker in cancer patients (1996)
  6. Prospective study of CAF vs CMF chemotherapy in breast cancer (1999)
  7. Clinical profile and CA 125 levels in ovarian cancer (2000)
  8. Prospective study of PE chemotherapy in malignant germ cell tumours (2001)
  9. Acute and chronic toxicities of cisplatin (2002)
  10. Acute and chronic toxicities of Doxorubin (2002)
  11. Profile of Childhood leukemias (2003)
  12. Circadian variation of myelosuppression induced by chemotherapy (2011)
  13. Analysis of chronic Myeloid Leukemia (2012)
  14. Her-2 positivity in Carcinoma Stomach (2012)
  15. SNPs in Cancers of breast and lymphomas (2012)   
The following research schemes of the department have received grants from the state research council, Tamilnadu.
  1. Hypecalcemia in malignancies
  2. An evaluation of paraneoplastic syndromes 
The department has been allocated a central government grant of Rs. 15 lakhs under the National Cancer Control Programme for the implementation of a pilot project on cancer control in Madurai district (1994 – 1995)
International research
The department has the proud distinction of being one of the seven centers in the country to participate in International multi-institutional double-blind randomized phase III clinical trial
  1. A new anti-estrogen compound (Droloxifene) vs. tamoxifene in metastatic breast cancer (1997-1998).
  2. Maintenance chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer ( 2008-2009)
  3. Maintenance EGFR TKI in advanced NSCLC (2009-2010)
  4. Ramucirumab in second line treatment of advanced NSCLC (2010-2012)
The high standards of the medical oncology department at the Govt. Rajaji Hospital and Madurai medical college is universally well recognized throughout the various oncology centers in the country. This has resulted in the professor and head of department being invited to address major academic fora and scientific meetings; to serve as an examiner for D.M. (oncology) courses at several centers within and outside the state; to serve as a member of the Board of Studies (higher specialities) in the TN Dr. M.G.R. Medical University; to serve in the selection committee for admitting new candidates to the D.M (oncology) course at the Cancer Institute (W.I.A), Chennai; and so on.
Next ?
Having been recognized as a premier medical college center for medical oncology services and medical oncology teaching, the department is now in the process of starting  D.M (medical oncology) course in the Madurai Medical College. 
CME conference

Update on Oncopathology (May 2011)

Breast Cancer updates (2012)

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