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What's In Your Briefcase? – Priyanka Sharma
Pamela Urlacher
Photo by KUMC/Elissa Monroe

“Thank you notes from my patients,” said Priyanka Sharma M.D., a professor of medicine at KU Medical Center and assistant director of clinical research, co-program leader for the Drug Discovery, Delivery and Experimental Therapeutics program at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. She holds national and institutional leadership roles while being actively involved in clinical and translational breast cancer research. “There is nothing more satisfying than to see that what you intended to do in the laboratory pans out in the clinic and helps somebody be cured from a disease or have a better outcome.”

Sharma is inspired to find better treatment options and new therapies for triple negative breast cancer. Advances for this type of cancer have lagged, it has a lower survival rate than many forms of breast cancer, and it affects younger and African American patients at a higher rate. Sharma is paving the way for more personalized treatment strategies and greater survival rates while deepening the research into triple negative breast cancer.

Ongoing partnerships have made a difference in Sharma’s research. “Philanthropic support is vital for the success of many cancer research projects that otherwise wouldn’t have started or grown, and having support from the community is a morale booster. It motivates us to work even harder toward our collective goals of improving the lives of those with cancer.”

KU Cancer Center earning National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Designation earlier this year provides new opportunities. “This designation brings us resources and access to platforms we may not have had before. It will allow us to be even more innovative in what we design for our patients.” 

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