Ramkumar, Dr Shanmugasundaram

Ramkumar ShanmugasundaramMD, DIH, DHA, MRCPI, FRCP, FRCR


Clinical oncology


Head and neck cancer, skull base tumours and cancers of the lower gastrointestinal tract

Training and education


  • MD (radiotherapy) - Kasturba Medical College, India, 1997
  • Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland - 2004
  • Membership of the Royal College of Physicians, UK - 2004
  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists, UK - 2008
  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow - 2011
  • Postgraduate certificate in leadership - Southampton Solent University, 2012


  • Fellowship in IGRT (image guided radiotherapy) & IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy) - Royal Marsden Hospital, UK, 2009
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy training for skull base and central nervous system tumours under Professor Michael Brada – 2009
  • RCR-Cyclotron Trust Travelling Proton Fellowship - University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute, 2013
  • RCR-Kay Travelling Fellowship in intraoperative radiotherapy - MD Anderson Cancer Centre, USA, 2015
  • Observership for intraoperative radiotherapy - Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA, 2016
  • Davies Foundation Proton Therapy Travelling Fellowship - Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland and Scripps Proton Therapy Centre, USA, 2017


Dr Ramkumar is a consultant clinical oncologist who has worked for the Trust since November 2009.

He specialises in the treatment of head and neck cancers, colorectal cancers and skull base tumours. Patients are referred to him for chemotherapy, high precision radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

His managerial roles at the Southampton Oncology Centre include:

  • lead consultant for postgraduate education in clinical oncology since March 2010
  • lead for IMRT at Southampton oncology centre since January 2011
  • lead consultant for intraoperative radiotherapy since May 2015
  • lead team member for stereotactic radiotherapy since June 2016.

His managerial roles at national level include:

  • member of the UK National Cancer Peer Review Panel from November 2012
  • patient safety lead for the School of Medicine in Wessex Deanery since November 2012
  • senate member of clinical reference group for complex head and neck cancers for the NHS Commissioning Board from March 2013
  • faculty board member & specialty board member in clinical oncology - Royal College of Radiologists, UK by election from September 2013-16
  • national e-proton therapy steering group member for Department of Health funded project from March 2015
  • specialist advisor for the Care Quality Commission from May 2016.

Key achievements

  • Introduced IMRT at Southampton Oncology Centre in 2011. The centre is now one of the top cancer centres in the UK for IMRT.
  • Was awarded a Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) award of £50,000 for his project on the UK’s first clinical implementation of low level laser therapy for reducing radiation induced oral mucositis in head and neck cancer in August 2014.
  • Increased clinical oncology training numbers in the Wessex region by 40% in 2013-14, despite reduction in national training numbers.

Awards and prizes

  • Health Education England Wessex Shine Awards 2015 Chair’s Award for outstanding contribution & strategic leadership in education & training in the NHS - 2015
  • Wessex Deanery Equitable Practice Award for postgraduate medical education - 2012
  • Clinical excellence awards in 2012, 2014 and 2016


Dr Ramkumar is principal investigator for several national and international clinical trials. These studies focus on treating head and neck cancers using radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. He's also in a number of research management groups.

Dr Ramkumar is involved in the devlopment of technologies for radiotherapy, including:

  • IMRT
  • IGRT
  • intraoperative radiotheraphy
  • stereotactic radiotheraphy
  • proton therapy.

Dr Ramkumar's other roles in research include:

  • member of the trial management group for the ART-DECO & CoSTAR IMRT trial conducted by the Institute of Cancer Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London
  • co-applicant and quality assurance lead for LiTEFORM, a £1.2 million NCRI funded low level laser trial in treating radiation induced oral mucositis
  • co-author of the chapter 'Intraoperative radiotheraphy in locally advanced and recurrent rectal cancer' in Recent Advances in Surgery, volume 35 (2013).

Dr Ramkumar has a particular interest in how using a technique called low level laser therapy can lessen the side effects caused by cancer treatment. He's also interested in reducing illness related to cancer treatment and improving quality of life for cancer survivors.


Dr Ramkumar's secretary is Maxine Robbins - you can call her on 023 8120 5057 or send an email.