Levine Cancer Institute’s very own Ed Kim, MD, has been invited to participate in Charlotte Ballet’s Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala, a night of fancy footwork and fun that benefits charities across the community.

We caught up with Dr. Kim in the middle of a dance rehearsal to learn more about his work at Levine Cancer Institute, what brought him to the dance floor, and how he hopes to make an impact.


What do you do at Levine Cancer Institute?

I’m a medical oncologist, meaning I care for patients who have cancer. I oversee my patients’ treatments and look for the best ways to eradicate their cancer using targeted therapy or chemo.

I’m also Levine Cancer institute’s chair of solid tumor oncology and investigational therapeutics, which involves more behind-the-scenes work. I help to build out our cancer institute by elevating the level of care we deliver, bringing broader care to our regional sites and enhancing our research efforts.

What’s this Dancing with the Stars event about?

Just like the real Dancing with the Stars, we’re paired with professional dancers to learn a routine and put on a show.  The audience and the public can vote for the winner, and with our event, every vote raises money for a great cause.

I’m raising money for the Cancer Innovations Fund at Carolinas HeathCare Foundation. This is the program that supports our Phase I clinical trials. Phase 1 clinical trials are the earliest exposure to drugs for our patients, and there are only a few centers in the country that can run a large volume of Phase I studies like we do.

Every one of these trials is a chance for one of our patients to hopefully benefit from a new treatment. To give patients another opportunity when standard cancer therapy hasn’t worked – it’s huge, and it offers patients some real hope.

We’ve got six total teams competing. Right now, we’re in second place!

How are practices coming? We can’t wait to see your moves.

Dancing isn’t one of my former pastimes. Tennis tournament? No problem. Ping Pong – great. I’ll even go out and swing a few golf clubs. But dancing is totally different. I’d be much more comfortable giving a lecture on targeted therapy to 10,000 people!

But I’m willing to work hard, and partnering with Sarah (that’s Charlotte Ballet’s Sarah Hayes Harkins) has been really great. I’m doing everything I can not to embarrass myself too much – but I also have to remember I’m not dancing for myself. I’m dancing for cancer and for the ballet.

So, I’m going to have fun with this. It’s for a great cause. I hope lots of people can show up and support the ballet and Levine Cancer Institute – and after it’s done, we’ll go right back to work.

How can people support?

Tickets to the event are sold out, but you can still vote! Every vote costs $1, and your support is helping fund research that can save someone’s life.

Ready to support a great cause? Cast your vote now!