Ramkumar, Dr Shanmugasundaram

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

Specialty

Clinical oncology

Sub-specialty

Head and neck cancer, skull base tumours, gastrointestinal cancers and re-irradiation (repeated treatment with radiotherapy)

Training and education

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 of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland - 2018
  • Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Educators - 2019

Training

  • 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
  • Proton Therapy IBA accredited training - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, 2018

Experience

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 with chemotherapy, high precision radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

His managerial roles at the Southampton oncology centre include:

  • lead for IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy) at Southampton since January 2011
  • lead consultant for intraoperative (during surgery) radiotherapy since May 2015
  • lead consultant for skull base stereotactic radiotherapy since June 2016.

His managerial roles at national and international level include:

  • senate member of clinical reference group for complex head and neck cancers for the NHS Commissioning Board from March 2013 to 16
  • faculty board member and specialty training committee board member in clinical oncology - Royal College of Radiologists, UK by election from September 2013 to 16
  • national e-Proton therapy steering group member for Department of Health funded project from March 2015 to June 2017
  • specialist advisor for the Care Quality Commission from May 2016
  • final FRCR examiner and FRCR examination board member since January 2018
  • co-chair, head and neck cancer for Wessex Strategic Clinical Network since July 2018
  • clinical expert for technological appraisal, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) since May 2019
  • co-chair for GI cancer education committee of the international Particle Therapy Co-operative Group (PTCOG) and member of head and neck, skull base, CNS and sarcoma educational committees in PTCOG since 2018
  • radiotherapy clinical reference group member for NHS England and NHS Improvement since 2019
  • external clinical advisor for Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman from July 2019.

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. Since 2018, this treatment has been recommended by NICE.
  • Increased clinical oncology training numbers in the Wessex region by 40% in 2013 to 14, despite reduction in national training numbers.
  • Increased trials in head and neck cancer. Southampton is now one of the UK's leading centres for head and neck cancer trials.

Awards and prizes

  • Health Education England Wessex Shine Awards 2015 Chair’s Award for outstanding contribution and strategic leadership in education and training in the NHS - 2015
  • Wessex Deanery Equitable Practice Award for postgraduate medical education - 2012
  • Clinical excellence awards in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018

Research

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 advisor for the University of Hong Kong for clinical trials on LLLT (low level laser therapy).

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

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

Dr Ramkumar's other roles in research include:

  • trial management group member for clinical trials 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.

Dr Ramkumar has a particular interest in proton beam and low level laser therapy to reduce toxicities related to cancer treatment and improve quality of life for cancer survivors.

Contact

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