Over more than fifty years, The Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute has been leading the fight against the menace of cancer with ultra modern treatment arsenal, advanced research, preventive care and intense community awareness.
A cultural event organized by the ladies members of the Inner Wheel Club of Ahmedabad sowed the seed of a greater humanitarian cause by establishing The Gujarat Cancer Society on April 2, 1961, under the presidentship of the then Governor of Gujarat H.E. Shri Nawab Mehdi Nawaz Jung, with a seed amount of Rs.5000 generated from the event. The Government of Gujarat in January 1962 agreed to give land measuring 4 acres in the New Civil Hospital Compound to the Society for construction of Cancer hospital. The foundation stone was laid on January 26, 1962 and building planning was done under the guidance of top experts of the country, Atomic energy commission and WHO. The governing council laid down a policy for accepting donations from the community. As a result of this policy and tireless efforts of the office bearers of the society, and most importantly people's trust in them, started spontaneous flow of donations from across the globe in building an institute of the people, by the people and for the people of Gujarat and its neighboring state. The first major gesture of charity was made in 1964 by Shri M.P Shah charitable trust by offering a generous donation of £55000 for the construction of cancer hospital. Assessment and advise of high power committee of Govt of India e.g. Rao commission (June 1965) and Paymaster committee(August 1965) germinated the process of building a cancer hospital namely M. P. Shah Cancer hospital in December 1966. The Wahi committee, which was appointed by the Govt. of India to assess the need of various cancer hospitals in India, recommended further expansion and development of this hospital as Regional Cancer Hospital and Research Centre on May 1972. The Govt of Gujarat granted additional 3.3 acre land to meet the need for Research, Registry, administration and treatment building. In February 1972 with joint efforts of Government of Gujarat & Gujarat Cancer Society under a tripartite agreement crystallized the formation of an autonomous institution which has over the years metamorphosed into present edifice of one of the most modern 650 bedded Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre of the country known as The Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute (G.C.&R.I.) .
The functioning of OPD in October 1965 and indoor in April 1967 established the foundation of Surgical oncology and Anesthesia in the institute. Currently it has grown into various super-specialty disciplines e.g. General Surgical Oncology, Reconstructive and plastic surgery, Urosurgery, Musculo-skeletal surgery, Pediatric surgery, Neurosurgery and interventional therapeutic centre(IVTC). It is the first in the country to provide laser surgery(1983) and Neurosurgery(1998). The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Anesthesia department was the first of its kind in the state of Gujarat. The department also earned the credit to start Pain and Palliative Care in 1973.
The Radiation Oncology started functioning in late 1965 with Radioisotope unit donated by GOI. Which later transformed into ultra modern facilities with commissioning of equipments e.g. Brachytherapy (1977), Liner accelerator(1981), simulator(1984), IMRT(2006), cobalt bhabhatron (2010), and IGRT.
Radiodiagnosis also started in 1965 with X-ray facility with later installation of USG(1983), CT scan(1984), spiral CT(1995), mammography,Gamma camera, MRI(2006), and PET-CT(2011) to cater the diagnostic need of the patients.
The Gynec-Oncology department started in 1972 with OPD and indoor facility and claimed to be the first RCC to provide Gynec-Onco services in the country. This department undertook the largest study by recruiting 50000 PAP test examination of women in the state in 1975. It is involved in a bigway for Cancer Screening in Women and running Well Women Clinic.
The Medical Oncology department started in 1973 with its indoor and OPD facility and proved to be a leading department which has provided maximum number of medical oncologist to the nation. It also boast to have first dedicated pediatric oncology centre started in 1992. It has to its credit of having a Bone Marrow Transplantation(BMT) unit established in 2002.
The department of Laboratory Medicine, including Clinical & Surgical pathology labs, microbiology lab, is engaged in providing quality diagnostic services to the patient at affordable cost. It is NABL accreditated as per ISO-15189(2007) with state of the art diagnostic equipments including Autoanalysers(Biochemistry & Hematology), Flowcytometer, Automated immunostainers(Ventana), Automated tissue processing and cryostat system, Automated ELISA and blood culture systems. The institute has in-house blood bank facility equipped with blood component separator, blood irradiator, mobile blood collection van for camp.
The research wing (Cancer Biology Department) established in 1979 is an integral part of the institute as interwoven in the name itself. It has state of the art Genomic and Proteomic facilities with large group of senior scientists engaged in basic and translational cancer research with presence in national and international forum acclaimed by their publications.
G.C.& R.I. has one of its kind offsite Hospice care centre at Vasna functioning since 1988 for terminally ill patients and facility of health checkup for common man.
Since its inception G.C.& R.I. continued to make progress under the able leadership of former directors, supervision of Governing board members, support from Govt. of Gujarat and Gujarat Cancer Society. What began as a thoughtful, socially responsible gesture in 1961 has today touched millions of lives, offering comprehensive cancer treatment and care. While journey till date is certainly a milestone, it's the future and our mission to reduce the burden of the disease in the coming years which is more compelling. We are committed to take all those steps that can prevent cancer and above all to make our world cancer free. We remain united in our untiring efforts at every level, to bring down the burden of this disease and lessen the sufferings, as we march on in this war against cancer.