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National Institutes of Health funds cancer-related research at Kansas State University

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 


MANHATTAN — Tackling lung cancer with development of a minimally invasive treatment option is the goal of researchers from the Kansas State University colleges of Engineering and Veterinary Medicine, along with industry partner, Broncus Medical, San Jose, California.

The project, funded by a $1,321,648 grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, is expected to lead to a bronchoscopic microwave ablation system for treating lung tumors.

Punit Prakash, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is principal investigator for the five-year study "Bronchoscope-Guided Microwave Ablation of Early-Stage Lung Tumors," awarded under the NIH Academic-Industrial Partnerships to Translate and Validate in Vivo Cancer Imaging Systems program.

"We will develop flexible, microwave ablation devices with precise control of microwave radiation that can be delivered to lung tumors via a bronchoscope," Prakash said. "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.

"We will evaluate the technical feasibility and safety of the proposed technique for treating lung tumors in a pilot clinical study," he said.

Kansas State University co-investigators on the project are from the College of Veterinary Medicine: Warren Beard and David Biller, both professors of clinical sciences, and Chanran Ganta, clinical assistant professor in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Yixun Liu, principal imaging research and development engineer with Broncus Medical — a commercial-stage company that delivers navigation, and diagnostic and therapeutic technologies to treat patients with lung disease — represents the industry partnership on the project.

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.

This grant builds upon an earlier project from 2016-17 between Broncus Medical and the electrical and computer engineering department. Prakash was also the principal investigator. Technology products in that study led to novel bronchoscopic deliveries of microwave energy for treating lung tumors, resulting in patent filings by the Kansas State University Research Foundation. The research foundation and the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization are working with Broncus Medical to develop strategies to further protect and commercialize the intellectual property resulting from the previous project and this new grant.


Punit Prakash


Punit Prakash is Pooh-NEATPruh-KAWSH.


Punit Prakash


Download the following photo.

Punit Prakash

Punit Prakash, Kansas State University assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Written by

Mary Rankin

At a glance

A grant for more than $1.3 million from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute to a team of Kansas State University researchers could lead to a minimally invasive treatment for lung tumors.