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Prashanti Atluri, MD

Medical Oncologist, WVU Cancer Institute

Manga “Prashanti” Atluri, MD, joined the WVU Cancer Institute in 2021, and her specific skills and expertise have already benefited many West Virginians.

As a medical oncologist, Dr. Atluri treats gastrointestinal cancers with medical (nonsurgical) treatments. These include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and drugs that target the genetic mutations that turn healthy cells into cancer cells.

As part of the gastrointestinal (GI) cancer care team at the WVU Cancer Institute, she focuses on cancers that affect the digestive tract. These diseases include colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, gastric cancer, and esophageal cancer.

Dr. Atluri discovered hematology-oncology (the study of cancer and blood disorders) during her internship training, and the field immediately intrigued her.

“The other trainees and I cared for a patient with babesiosis – a disease transmitted by tick bites,” she says. “In babesiosis, parasites infect the red blood cells. When I looked at the patient’s blood smear under a microscope, I could see the parasites inside the cells. I was fascinated by that tangible evidence and how it led to a correct diagnosis and treatment.”

Following that experience, Dr. Atluri went on to complete her residency training in hematology-oncology at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York. After obtaining additional fellowship training in hematology-oncology at NYU Winthrop Hospital Long Island, she joined the cancer center at East Carolina University (ECU) in North Carolina as faculty.

During her nine years at ECU, Dr. Atluri became known for her strong clinical and leadership skills. She led ECU’s GI cancer program and melanoma program before transitioning back to NYU Winthrop Hospital. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she was the Fellowship Program Director, teaching fellows in hematology and oncology.

When she first joined the WVU Cancer Institute, Dr. Atluri cared for patients at WVU Medicine Uniontown Hospital in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. There, she realized what a positive difference her new team could make for local patients.

“West Virginia and Southwest Pennsylvania are full of small, rural communities that haven’t always had access to adequate healthcare services,” Dr. Atluri says. “But as WVU Medicine expands throughout the region, the organization is bringing much-needed specialty care directly to these communities. In Uniontown, my patients got advanced cancer care right in their own backyard instead of having to travel to Pittsburgh or Ohio.”

Today, Dr. Atluri works at WVU Cancer Institute’s main campus in Morgantown. It allows her to pursue one of her other passions: teaching medical residents and fellows. She’s an associate professor in the Department of Hematology-Oncology at the WVU School of Medicine.

When she’s not training the next generation of oncologists, you can usually find Dr. Atluri in the exam room. She continues to see patients who need life-changing or lifesaving cancer treatments – and who want a healthcare partner to guide them through that journey.

“Here at the WVU Cancer Institute, we offer the best of both worlds,” she says. “We have cancer services you can’t find anywhere else in the state, such as procedures and devices that deliver chemotherapy directly to the liver. Also, a cancer diagnosis is life-changing; we aim to make the treatment process as uncomplicated as possible.”

Dr. Atluri built her own approach to cancer care on communication.

“Over the years, I’ve learned how much people value and appreciate information – even when I’m sharing difficult news,” she says. “I’m always forthright and truthful with my patients. Sometimes that means helping them make well-informed decisions about their treatment options. And sometimes that means helping them find the positive in the negative.”

Outside of work, Dr. Atluri has interests in the fine arts, specifically architecture and textile design. She also enjoys hikes and takes advantage of the local biking trails.

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Prashanti Atluri, MD

“A cancer diagnosis is life-changing; we aim to make the treatment process as uncomplicated as possible.”

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1 Medical Center Drive Morgantown, WV 26506

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