Project Purple Podcast Episode 284 – Researching Genetics and Early Detection with Dr. Anirban Maitra of MD Anderson

Dr. Anirban Maitra is a Professor of Pathology and Translational Molecular Pathology, and Scientific Director of the Sheikh Ahmed Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center since 2013. He is also the principal of the NCI-funded laboratory dedicated to pancreatic cancer research. His research primarily focuses on genetics and finding early detection measures for pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Maitra offers insights into the world of cancer and speaks about the feelings of guilt experienced by patients who are diagnosed with cancer, as well as the societal stigmas surrounding cancer, particularly on social media. 

He discusses the challenges of identifying the causes of pancreatic cancer in many cases and presents some statistics. He also talks about the risk factors and lifestyle choices that may contribute to pancreatic cancer. However, he emphasizes that more research is needed to identify those with a higher risk and monitor them for early detection and better treatment outcomes to increase survivor rates in pancreatic cancer and ultimately find a cure. 

Dr. Maitra also stresses the importance of collaboration in the cancer research space and the medical world as a whole to achieve better outcomes for patients and make greater strides in finding cures for diseases like pancreatic cancer. He provides the pediatric cancer consortium efforts as an example. 

Overall, Anirban is very optimistic about the future of pancreatic cancer and is especially enthusiastic about the emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that are making clinical trials and potentially identifying risk factors much earlier in patients in the near future.

Please join us for this week’s episode of the Project Purple podcast to learn more about the great work he and his team are doing to create a world without pancreatic cancer!

If you’d like to learn more from this very talented doctor, follow him on Twitter/X at

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