In 1981, the Division was approved by the National Board of Examinations, New Delhi, for its Diploma in Radiotherapy.
Diploma in Medical Radiation Therapy (D.M.R.T.) course was started at the Institute in 1990 and the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) course in Radiotherapy in 1992 both affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University.
Diploma course in Radiotherapy Technology was started at the Institute in 1991.
The division is also recognized for Doctorate in radiation oncology.
B.Sc Radiotherapy technology introduced in the year 2011.
Clinical research in the Department of Radiation Oncology continues to be directed toward improving the efficacy of radiotherapy as a curative modality with emphasis on preserving normal structures and function.
The cancer institute strongly believes that there will be no progress without research. Being the pioneers of multidisciplinary approach in malignancies of various sites, a series of clinical trials had been carried out in buccal mucosal cancers and uterine cervical cancers, both being the commonest malignancies encountered, from as early as 1960. In buccal mucosal cancers, potentiation of radiation effect by agents like synkavit, metronidazole, methotrexate and bleomycin was studied. The best results were achieved by a combination of radiation and bleomycin.
There was however a persistent failure in about 30% of cases. In an effort to bridge this gap of failure, hyperbaric oxygen, cisplatinum, vincristine and 5-fluorouracil combination, hydroxyurea and hyperthermia were added to the combination of radiotherapy and bleomycin and evaluated in carefully designed trials.
Large trials have been carried out in cervical cancers with different modalities of radiation treatment along with radiation sensitizers, potentiators and chemotherapeutic agents. Sensitizers like podophyllin derivatives, hydroxyurea etc. Chemotherapeutic agents like bleomycin, cisplatinum, ifosphamide, cyclophosphamide, etoposide etc. in various combinations with radiation have been studied.
Recently we have concluded a large international trial in cervical cancers using hyperthermia as radiation potentiator where the cervical tumor was heated with radiofrequency waves using intracavitary applicators.
Large trial of 400 patients evaluating the potency and late affects of LDR Vs HDR brachytherapy Other major clinical trials include intra-operative radiotherapy in gastric cancers, multimodal therapy with combinations of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hyperthermia and surgery in adult extremity soft tissue sarcomas and chemoradiotherapy in nasopharyngeal cancers.
Most of the clinical trials in the department were carried out in collaboration with national and international agencies like International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Science and Technology and Indian Council of Medical Research.