The Tata Medical Center (TMC), Kolkata, is a philanthropic institute set up by the Tata Medical Center Trust. We have constituted the Tata Medical Center Institutional Review Board (TMC-IRB) under the authority of Tata Medical Center Trust. The Center aims to provide state-of-the-art services for prevention (screening), diagnosis and management of various cancers. The Center is the first of its kind in Eastern India and is proud to have a dedicated team of experts who have had specialist experience in India and abroad. The hospital aims to support the indigent population by providing either free or subsidized treatment to at least 50% of such patients. Hospital facilities have been made patient-centric and attempts to involve the patient in decision making will be a key theme.
At TMC, training and research is being promoted actively and collaborations have been formalized with prestigious institutions like worldwide. Of course, Science and Technology have advanced at a tremendous pace and India is now launching itself at the forefront of devising and implementing futuristic research including that involves genetics, genomics and molecular biology. Tata Medical Center plans to initiate investigator initiated research studies and also enhance industry initiated research and development. It is hoped that such research will boost delivery of contemporary practices in cancer care. It is extremely important that we have regulations to rein in the enthusiastic developments in order to assure safety and to protect the rights and welfare of human participants subjected to biomedical research.
This has necessitated the formulation of a comprehensive institutional review board at TMC which abides by the ICMR guidelines based on the WHO, CIOMS and UNESCO recommendations. From informed consent in 1900, ethical medical practice and research was further enhanced by the Nuremberg Code (1947) and the Helsinki Declaration. Recent documents on ethics published by UNESCO include “The Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights” (1997), “The International Declaration on Human Gene Data” (2003) and “Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights” (2005). These guidelines have been updated by over the years and the ICMR guidance 2017 provides a good summary for practice of ethical biomedical research.
Our IRB named SOPs and systems are based on the above guidance on Ethical Research and Development. For further details on the rules and regulations used to ensure ethical implementation of various research processes, we refer to the ICMR “Ethical Guidance for Biomedical Research on Human Participants” document available from http://icmr.nic.in/guidelines/ICMR_Ethical_Guidelines_2017.pdf. It is therefore recommended that all research is carried out such that one can improve upon the knowledge of human condition as whilst safeguarding the well being of all species. The purpose of research should be such that the well being of a participant is not placed at a greater risk than usual.