Director of the Tata Memorial Hospital
He is the Director of the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, which is amongst the oldest and largest cancer centres in the world, with over 75 years of exceptional patient care, high-quality training and innovative cancer research. Over the years, it has grown in size and stature, maintaining its pre-eminent position at the forefront of national and global cancer control efforts. TMH is amongst the highest volume cancer centres globally, and caters to over 70,000 new patients with cancer annually. Compassionate patient care remains the major focus of Tata Memorial Centre, with eleven Disease Management Groups (or multidisciplinary teams) breaking departmental silos and providing optimal care for every patient. This emphasis on team approach leverages the extensive experience and expertise of various specialists, thereby providing patients with evidence-based, yet individualized care, tailored not just to the cancer but also the patient’s unique physical, emotional and psychosocial needs.
He is also the convener of the National Cancer Grid in India and is responsible for the ongoing activities of one of the largest cancer networks globally. Currently comprising 217 cancer centres, research institutes, patient groups and charitable organizations, which between them treat about 60% of India’s cancer population, the NCG is a powerful, cohesive network created with the mandate of establishing uniform standards of patient care across India, formulating evidence-based consensus guidelines on management of cancer in India, human resource development and collaborative multicentric research in basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological research in cancer.
His broad clinical areas of interest are in the management of esophageal and lung cancers. He is especially keen on minimally invasive surgery and evaluation of their role in the management of thoracic malignancies. His work also involves the evolution and modifications of surgical techniques for operable esophageal cancer. Lymph node mapping and evaluating the role of radical lymphadenectomy in esophageal cancer is an area of interest over the past two decades. They have one of the largest prospective single-centre databases of esophageal cancer surgery (over 2600 patient data) in the world.
His research interests include various strategies in the surgical management of esophageal cancer to reduce perioperative morbidity and improve long term survival; they have done several trials on different aspects of surgical technique and perioperative management. They have conducted and are presently performing the three largest single-centre randomized trials in esophageal cancer surgery. Ongoing research projects also include the largest community-based randomized trial on screening for upper aerodigestive tract cancers. Future areas of research planned include evaluating the role of minimally invasive esophageal cancer surgery, and personalized therapy of esophageal and lung cancer in randomized trials.
As a member of the coordinating committee of the Clinical Research Secretariat of the Tata Memorial Centre, he is involved in education and research on clinical research methodology. He conducts several courses on clinical research methods, biostatistics, bioethics and scientific writing. He aims to inculcate the culture of research and encourage the conduct of clinical and translational research across specialties. His immediate goal is to initiate and encourage cooperation between institutes and units for collaborative research.