Indian-American Researcher Gets Massive Grant For Cancer Study

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Punit Prakash (Courtesy: Kansas State University)

An Indian-American at Kansas State University is leading a cancer related research study that has received more than a million dollars from the National Institutes of Health.

Punit Prakash, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the principal investigator for a five-year study that was granted more than $1.3 million by the NIH, for developing a minimally invasive treatment option for lunch cancer, a Feb. 21, press release from Kansas State said. The study is being conducted jointly by the Kansas State University colleges of Engineering and Veterinary Medicine, along with industry partner, Broncus Medical of San Jose, California.

The research is expected to lead to a “bronchoscopic microwave ablation system” for treating lung tumors, in the study entitled “Bronchoscope-Guided Microwave Ablation of Early-Stage Lung Tumors,” the press release said.

“We will develop flexible, microwave ablation devices with precise control of microwave radiation that can be delivered to lung tumors via a bronchoscope,” Prakash is quoted saying. “These devices will be integrated with a computerized image-guidance, navigation and treatment planning platform to guide physicians in the optimal approach for treating the targeted tumors while preserving healthy tissue,” he added.

The technical feasibility and safety of the proposed technique for treating lung tumors is being evaluated in a pilot clinical study, he said.

Other scientists involved in the study include Kansas State University co-investigators from the College of Veterinary Medicine – Chanran Ganta, clinical assistant professor in diagnostic medicine and pathology, as well as Warren Beard and David Biller, both professors of clinical sciences.

This project will support an interdisciplinary team of faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students conducting cutting-edge research on microwave technology for therapeutic applications and their translation to the clinical setting, the press release said.