A radiation oncology specialist is returning home to Kansas University on Feb. 15 to assist with its National Cancer Institute designation.
The KU Cancer Center has named Parvesh Kumar, a Kansas City native and KU Medical Center alumnus, to serve as its Joe and Jean Brandmeyer Chair and Professor of radiation oncology and as interim deputy director of the Cancer Center.
Kumar was working at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and has a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Defense for prostate cancer research. But the funding will not count toward the center’s goal of attaining $11 million in NCI funding because it comes from another source.
Still, Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center, said the position was a critical one for NCI designation.
“I think Dr. Kumar has been in a number of outstanding NCI-designated cancer centers and he brings great leadership in that regard,” Jensen said. “He is already a highly respected figure in radiation oncology across the nation.”
A little more than half of all cancer patients will wind up using radiation treatments at some point in their treatment cycle, Jensen said, so it’s an important role for any cancer center.
Jensen said progress has already been made in the radiation program through philanthropist Annette Bloch’s $20 million donation in 2008 that helped bring new technology to the cancer center.
Money from a $10 million gift from the Brandmeyers, of El Paso, Texas, helped support the new radiation oncology chair position.