The Cancer Institute (CI)

The TUMS Cancer Institute, as one of the important parts of the Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, is the leading organization for cancer research and treatment, and is comprised of the three sections of Education, Research, Diagnosis and Treatment.

The Cancer Institute (CI) has given hope and life to thousands of patients for over 68 years, and it is the largest referral center in fighting cancer with essential role in assigning standards and protocols of therapy and caring for cancerous patients in Iran.


The history of the CI dates back to 1949, when a cancer hospital was established as a result of a collaborative agreement between Tehran University Medical School and the Red Crescent Organization of the country. The hospital provided surgical, pathological, and outpatient services to referred cancer patients nationwide. In 1950, the radiotherapy unit was established and one year later, under an agreement with the World Health Organization, the first cobalt unit in the Institute was established and radiotherapeutic services were provided to patients. In 1960, cytotechnology and in 1962 experimental units were added to the hospital. By 1970, when it was renamed the Cancer Institute of Iran, it was fully equipped and included pathology, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, medical genetics, and experimental research laboratory. Now the Cancer Institute consists of 14 departments and acts as a leading center in campaigns involving all aspects of cancer control, from generating population data (population-based cancer registry) to state of the art patient care at a national level.

Among people who have played a significant role in the establishment and development of the Cancer Institute, the names of Dr. Mostafa Habibi Golpayegani, Dr. Abbas Maleki, Dr. Hossein Rahmatian and Dr. Hassan Hashemian are prominent.


Annually about 10,000 cancer patients receive inpatient and outpatient care in different departments of the cancer institute of Iran.

The CI consists of 14 departments such as surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiotherapy, cancer research, radiology, pathology, genetic counseling, specialized laboratory, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

The surgery unit of the Cancer Institute currently consists of three departments, 4 inpatient wards, and 7 active operation rooms.

Several multidisciplinary tumor boards, including general, head and neck, gastroenterology, breast and sarcoma tumor boards discuss the complicated patients and make decision about the best treatment options for the presented patients.

In terms of education, cancer institute of Iran provides residency and fellowship programs, including pathology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, cancer surgery and palliative care. In addition, nurses, radiotherapy technicians and biophysicists spend some of their training courses in the cancer institute of Iran.

Also, three research centers including Cancer Research Center, Cancer Model (Biology) Research Center, and Radiation Oncology Research Center was established, respectively in 2003, 2014 and 2015, at the cancer institute of Iran. These research centers coordinate cancer research in different fields including basic, epidemiology, and clinical research.


The mission of the CI is to promote the intense multidisciplinary approaches that inspire much of the outstanding cancer management, and to make the CI a hub for cancer treatment nationwide. It is designed as a comprehensive cancer center and acts as a national focus for diverse programs related to cancer. As a pioneering cancer hospital, the CI is committed to providing the administrative infrastructure to support the pursuit of excellence in education, patient care, innovation, and research.

Training at The Cancer Institute

In terms of training, the institute annually accepts 3 Cancer Surgery Fellowship candidates who have passed the entrance exam for their 1.5-year training course at the Cancer Institute. It also accepts one fellowship candidate in breast surgery, one in head and neck surgery and one in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Also, for many years, the Cancer Institute's surgery department has been hosting general surgery assistants from all the TUMS centers on a rotating basis, and it has had a great role in the education of these candidates.

In addition, annually a number of surgical residents from other universities of medical sciences in the country are present as observers or active residents in the surgery department and benefit from the various educational facilities of this center.

Furthermore, the Cancer Institute's weekly tumor boards have been considered a local multi-disciplinary (MDT) meeting for collective decision-making about patients with complex cancers of various organs for years. In these sessions, while examining the introduced patients and determining the appropriate treatment approach based on scientific evidence and experiences of professors of different departments, it provides a very suitable platform for training subspecialty fellowships and assistants of different educational departments as well as learning from outside the Cancer Institute.

In conclusion, the main goal of the cancer Institute is to optimize management of cancer patients according to the standard of care, and continues its incessant attempts in taking steps in three fields of education, research, and treatment in highest levels.