A world-class cancer centre, the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Oncology offers comprehensive care for management for all types of cancers, in both adults and children. The team of internationally and nationally trained Medical, Surgical and Radiation Oncologists here, with the help of state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic technology, provide patients with optimal, evidence-based and customised treatment plans for removal of cancer cells from the body through medication, surgery and radiation. Multi-disciplinary in approach, the treating Doctor, after understanding the requirement of the patient completely, takes inputs from all concerned Specialities before deciding on the ideal treatment plan. Patients are also provided psychological counselling, dietary advice and rehabilitation services if required and open discussions on all treatment options available, the objective of treatment- whether it is curative, palliative or prevention of recurrence and expected outcomes are encouraged. Equipped with highly advanced technical support for chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantation, radiation and surgery, the CoE is the first facility in Kerala to offer Minimally Invasive Robotic Cancer Surgery.
The Medical Oncology Department at the Centre of Excellence in Oncology provides advanced care ranging from home based oral therapies to complex chemotherapy procedures, targeted therapy, biotherapy, bone marrow transplantation and metronomic chemotherapy to patients of all age groups with solid organ cancers and haematological malignancies. State-of-the-art in terms of facilities offered, the division has specialised infrastructure including positive pressure rooms for management of critically ill patients with cancers like leukaemia, a 10-bed Bone marrow transplant unit (hemopoietic cellular therapy) with dedicated apheresis suite, day care infusion therapy unit, cryopreservation unit, step down unit and intensive care enabled service. The team of Oncologists here, with the help of advanced diagnosis and prognosis (diagnostic and prognostic ) tools like molecular methods, genomics, proteomics and theranostic and supportive services from the haematology lab, create personalised and optimal treatment strategies, with strict adherence to NCCN (USA) and ESMO (European) guidelines.
The department of Surgical Oncology at the Centre of Excellence in Oncology offers a wide spectrum of surgeries for cancers in the breast, head and neck, thoracic region, gastrointestinal malignancies, gynaecological malignancies, Pelvic malignancies, bone and soft tissue sarcomas. With focus in cancer surgery shifting from conventional radical resection surgery to conservative surgery, the department, with support from Medical and Radiation Oncology, performs highly advanced organ preservation surgery along with reconstructive surgeries like complete breast reconstruction using flaps and implants, limb preserving surgeries for bone and soft tissue tumours, limb salvage surgery for bone tumours with modular prosthesis, free fibula flaps and extra-corporeal radiation intra-operatively. It is also first facility in Kerala to offer Minimal Access Robotic Surgery for colo-rectal malignancies, uterine cancers and cervical cancers.
The department of Radiation Oncology at the Centre of Excellence in Oncology is a highly advanced facility providing radiation therapy services for management of cancers. The core team, comprising Radiation Oncologists, Medical Physicists, Radiation Technologists and Oncology Nurses, with the help of high-end radiation therapy equipment, render personalised, optimum, evidence-based treatment, with minimal side effects. The department, which believes in educating the patient and their caregivers on radiotherapy, provide ample time for discussing various treatment options with the Consulting Doctor and also give them leaflets outlining the technical aspects of radiation. They are also shown a short film on radiation treatment delivery.
Equipped with state-of-the-art technical support to provide comprehensive radiation treatment services, the department has Varian “True Beam” machine for teletherapy (external) radiation treatment - a first of its kind in Kerala. The most advanced version of Varian’s Linear Accelerator series, its unique feature is the Flattening Filter Free (FFF) technology.
Advantages of True Beam
Palliative care is all about providing specialized, multidisciplinary medical care to patients suffering from serious illnesses, with an aim to enhance their quality of life. A treatment mode that integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care, palliative therapies focus on providing maximum possible relief from the symptoms, pain and stress caused by the illness, with utmost consideration and compassion.
According to WHO (World Health Organisation), Palliative care is defined as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
Palliative care are provided in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life like chemotherapy and radiation, right from the time of diagnosis. This ensures the patient maximum relief from the associated pain and discomfort caused by the illness as well as the high-intensity therapies.
The palliative care plan for each patient is created after a detailed assessment of his or her medical condition, symptoms and existing/ possible complications and psychosocial background, so that the patient remain active.
Apart from managing pain, the psychological/ spiritual aspects of the treatment affirm fact that life and death are natural processes. The families of the patient too are provided psychological support including counselling so that they cope up with the intense stress and bereavement, which is inevitable.
Paediatric Palliative Care
A child being diagnosed with a life-limiting illness is the most devastating thing that can happen to a family. Palliative treatment in children and young adults involve a comprehensive, compassionate approach to care, with strong focus on enhancing the quality of life. The course of the treatment is planned after taking into consideration the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects, as the needs of children are very different compared to that of adults. The family’s emotional needs are taken care of too, with continued counseling and support. This enables them to cope up with the grief and them live through what is probably the worst time of their lives.
The Palliative Care department at Aster Medcity has an highly-trained team of doctors who specialize in providing pain management and palliative treatment to patients with life-limiting diseases including cancers, end stage renal and liver diseases, cardiac and neurological issues. Multidisciplinary in approach, they provide guideline-based care to patients of all ages, with the support of trained nurses and therapists.
The department also offers palliative care for geriatric (elderly) patients.
Dr. Jem Kalathil is also an international consultant in the use of photodynamic therapy for treatment of cancer.
FRCS (Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Edinburgh, United Kingdom) | MS in Surgery | MBBS (Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram)
Extensive clinical, academic and research experience in the field of Oncology
Worked as Senior Cancer Surgeon in Oman
Former Additional Professor in Surgical Oncology
Proficient in Malayalam, English
Observership in Paediatric Hemato Oncology & Transplant | Fellowship in Hemato-Oncology & Stem Cell Transplant | DM | DNB | MD | MBBS
Consultant Hematologist, Medical Trust Hospital, Kochi
Hematologist in KCCC, Kuwait’s only tertiary cancer centre
Assistant Professor, Paediatric Hematology, SRMC Chennai
Published Research Articles
Blast crisis CML as initial presentation
Unusual cutaneous fungal infection in acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Secondary AML after osteosarcoma treatment
Proficient in English, Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi
DM in Medical Oncology (Adayar Cancer Institute, Chennai) | MRCP (Royal Colleges of Physicians, United Kingdom) | MD in General Medicine | MBBS (Govt. Medical College, Trissur)
Trained in multidisciplinary management of various malignancies, ranging from solid tumours to blood cancers – both adult and paediatric.
Expert in planning optimal, customised treatment strategies based on the patient profile and all other medical parameters.
Focuses on providing the best possible outcome with a holistic approach and helps the patient take an informed decision.
Actively encourages involvement of counsellors during the entire course of treatment to help patients bear with the symptoms and stress.
Experience in providing palliative care.
Have conducted several awareness programmes on the need for early cancer detection and prevention by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Visiting Consultant licensed by Dubai Health Authority - Aster Hospital, Mankhool, Dubai
International Training Fellow of RCP - University Hospitals, Southampton United Kingdom
University Gold Medal Winner (DM Medical Oncology) - Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai
Worked at Madras Cancer Care Foundation; Apollo Hospitals, Chennai and Department of Oncology, Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi
Coordinator of hospital-based tumour registry
Investigator in clinical trials recognised by the DCGI and Ethics committee
Proficient in English, Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil
Fellowship in Orthopaedic Oncology (Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai)| DNB Ortho (Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram) | D Ortho (Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram)| MBBS (Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram)
Bone cancer management in children and adults.
Expertise in Limb preserving surgeries for bone tumours that avoid amputations like Megaprosthetic replacement, re-implanting the same bone after sterilization with radiation, expandable implants which increases in length as the patient grows
Expertise in advanced surgical treatment for malignant lesions in spine and bones in other parts of the body
Published 10 articles in prominent Indian medical journals
Proficient in Malayalam, English, Hindi
Trained at some of the finest institutes in India and the United States, she is an expert in highly advanced procedures like Trans Oral Robotic Surgery (TORS) and Transoral Laser Microsurgery (TLM).
Clinical Research Fellow - Head-Neck Services (Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai) UICC-ICRETT Fellowship (MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, USA)
Fellowship in Head - Neck Oncologic & Reconstructive Surgery (Medical University of South Carolina, USA)
MCh in Head Neck Surgical Oncology (Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi)
MS in ENT (Medical College, Baroda) | MBBS
Oncologic surgery for the upper aero digestive tract (UADT) tumours
Conservation Laryngeal Surgery, Laryngectomy - surgery for voice box tumours
Lip, Cheek, Tongue, Palate and Jaw Tumours- Peroral resections, pull-through procedures that avoid/ minimise scars and improve functional & aesthetic outcomes, 3D reconstructions and computer aided cutting guides
Management of orbital tumours
Skull-base surgery for tumours of the paranasal sinuses, anterior skull-base and lateral skull-base
Surgery for salivary gland tumours – parotid gland and submandibular gland, with intraoperative facial nerve monitoring
Thyroid and parathyroid gland surgery
Surgical management of vascular malformations of the scalp, face, neck and UADT
Surgical management of cancers of the skin on the head, face & neck
Transoral Laser Surgery for tumours of the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx and laryngopharynx
Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) for tumours of the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx and laryngopharynx
Local & regional methods for reconstructive surgery to optimise functional and aesthetic outcomes
Free tissue transfer including reconstruction with the use of standard soft tissue and bone flaps
Speech & swallowing rehabilitation with focus on optimizing functional outcomes for all head & neck tumours
Post laryngectomy/alaryngeal speech rehabilitation: tracheo-esophageal punctures and valves/prosthesis
Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA
UICC-ICRETT Fellowship, M D Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, USA
Department of Head-Neck Services, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
Department of Head & Neck Surgical, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi
Assistant Professor, Department of ENT & Head Neck Surgery, Shri Krishna Hospital, P S Medical College, H M Patel Centre for Medical Care and Education, Gujarat
Research: Role of ceramide synthases in oral carcinogenesis; Tobacco and betel-nut related oral lesions
Six published research articles in peer reviewed journals.
Proficient in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati
MD in Radiation Therapy (Adayar Cancer Institute, Chennai) | MBBS (Madras Medical College)
Assistant Professor at Adayar Cancer Institute
Radiation Oncologist at Baby Memorial Hospital, Calicut
Best Outgoing student of the batch in Radiation Oncology
Recipient of the Dr. Muthulakshmi award
Awarded the Dr. N. Kalavathy Prize for the best paper at AROI –TNCON 2009
Well versed in the application of Radiation in various Curative and palliative clinical scenarios.
Sites of prime interest are Head &Neck malignancies, CNS tumours, GastroIntestinal and Breast Cancers, especially organ conservation protocols
Keen focus on Gynaecological and Urologic malignancies as well as Carcinoma Lung
Involved in the multidisciplinary management of Soft tissue Sarcomas, Paediatric Malignancies etc.
Expertise in clinical application of modern radiation techniques including 3DCRT, IMRT,IGRT and Rapid Arc.
Active interest in Brachytherapy, especially Gynaecological
Believes in a multidisciplinary Team Approach to management of cancer
Adheres to internationally accepted standard of care treatment protocols
Attends conferences & workshops on regular to keep up with the latest
Proficient in English, Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil
Trained in advanced therapeutic and stereotactic body radiation, she also excels in in Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (including Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy), Brachytherapy, Total Skin Electron Therapy (TSET), 3D Conformal Radiotherapy and Conventional Radiotherapy. Well versed in highly advanced Helical Tomotherapy and CyberKnife procedures, Dr. Durgapoorna’s areas of special interest include management of breast and gynaecological malignancies.
Fellowship in Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Texas, USA) | MD in Radiotherapy (Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka) | MBBS (Govt. Medical College, Calicut)
Worked in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi.
Associate Professor, Department Of Radiation Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi.
Associated with the Fellowship courses in Surgical Oncology, Neuro Oncology, and Head & Neck Oncology at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi.
Travel Grant Recipient - The State of the Art in Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics by the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Faculty- MD / DMRT (Diplomate Medical Radiation Therapy) & DNB (Diplomate National Board) in Radiation Oncology.
Faculty - Radiotherapy for Bachelor of Science (BSc), MRT students, radiotherapy technologists, nurses and technicians.
Well-versed in pain & palliative care.
Published research articles.
Proficient in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Kannada.
Trained at some of the best medical institutions in the country, he excels in multi-modal analgesia and interventions for chronic head ache, neck pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain, gluteal pain, chronic abdominal and pelvic pain, knee pain, peripheral vascular disease, post herpetic neuralgia, phantom limb pain and also the total care/ palliative care for cancer patients.
He is also an expert at managing recurrent ascites and pleural effusions with indwelling catheter.
PG Diploma Medicine - Palliative Care (Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia) | MD in Anaesthesia (Govt. Medical College, Baroda) | MBBS (Govt. Medical College, Thrissur)
Expertise in interventions like:
Trigeminal Nerve Block
Occipital Nerve Block
Stellate Ganglion Block
Thoracic Splanchnic Block (Coeliac Plexus Block)
Chemical Lumbar Sympathectomy
Hypogastric Plexus Block
Ganglion Impar Block
Cervical & Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection
Facet Joint Block
RFA of Facet / Median branch of Dorsal Nerve
Pulsed RF for Shoulder Pain and Knee pain
Dry Needling or IMS for the Myofascial Trigger points
Clinical Professor in Anaesthesia & Head of the Division of Pain & Palliative Medicine
Pain and palliative care department, Kasturba Medical College Manipal
In charge of Pain and Palliative care clinic, Amala Cancer Hospital
In charge of Pain & Palliative Care Clinic, West Fort Hi Tech Hospital Thrissur
Part of the Comprehensive Cancer Care Team, which aims at bettering the quality of life of cancer patients
Published research articles
Proficient in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada
DM in Clinical Hematology (JIPMER, Pondicherry) | MD in Internal Medicine (Govt. Medical College, Calicut) | MBBS (Govt. Medical College, Thrissur)
Trained Undergraduates in JIPMER and Government Medical Colleges (Thrissur & Calicut)
Training in Hematology from CMC Vellore and AIIMS, New Delhi
Attended the ASH Highlight meeting held at Bangkok, Thailand
Proficient in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Tamil
DM in Medical Oncology (Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram) | MD in Internal Medicine | MBBS
Worked as Lecturer in Medical Oncology at the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Worked as Clinical Observer at the Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
Published research articles
Proficient in English, Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil
MCh in Surgical Oncology (Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram) | MS in General Surgery (VIMS Bellary) | MBBS (KIMS, Hubli)
Senior Resident, Surgical Oncology RGCI & RC, New Delhi Consultant Surgeon, Karuna Hospital, Nedumkandam
Proficient in English, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam
Training Cardiology (Jayadeva institue of Cardiology) | MD in Internal medicine (JSS Medical College Mysore) | MBBS (Jubilee Mission Medical College Thrissur)
Physician, KIMS Hospital, Kochi
Consultant Physician, Specialist Hospital, Kochi
Proficient in English, Malayalam, Tamil
MBBS (Govt. Medical College, Kottayam) | DNB in Family Medicine (Medical Trust Hospital, Kochi)
Proficient in Malayalam, English, Hindi
MS in Otorhinolaryngology (Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Sciences, Bellary, Karnataka) | Graduated (Govt. Medical College, Kottayam)
Part of the team head & neck surgery department in Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore
Part of head and neck surgery teams at VIMS, Bellary
Worked at the department of otorhinolaryngology in VIMS, Bellary
Proficient in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Kannada
First facility in the State to offer Minimally Invasive Surgery using da Vinci Surgery Robot
Site specific disease management groups: