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Making prostate cancer diagnosis simple, safe and affordable

A new medical device developed at Addenbrooke's hopes to transform the process of diagnosing prostate cancer, making it safer for patients.

CamPROBE device
The CamPROBE device

The device has been developed by urology specialist Professor Vincent Gnanapragasam and his team at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (CUH) and Cambridge University.

Known as the Cambridge Prostate Biopsy Device (CamPROBE), it was designed to help a growing national and international movement to change the way biopsies are carried out, from the transrectal to the transperinal route, making them safer for prostate patients, while remaining simple to undertake and cost effective.

More than 85 per cent of patients said they would recommend the CamPROBE procedure to someone else having a prostate biopsy.

Prof Vincent Gnanapragasam, urology consultant at CUH

Prof Gnanapragasam said:

"The CamProbe offers a safe, simple and affordable solution enabling these biopsies to be carried out routinely, in an outpatient clinic and under local anaesthesia, at a much lower cost than currently available.

"In a multi-centre clinical investigation study, there were no reports of infections, device deficiencies or safety issues from use of the device – and cancer detection rates were equivalent to other means of biopsy.

"Procedure times were short and only low amounts of local anaesthetic were required, yet low pain scores were reported by patients."

Professor Vincent Gnanapragasam - standing shot
Prof Vincent Gnanapragasam

Diagnosing prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is traditionally diagnosed with a transrectal needle biopsy of the prostate, guided by an ultrasound probe inserted into the rectum.

This approach can carry a risk of side effects, including urinary infections and severe sepsis, as the needle traverses the rectal wall several times on the way to the prostate.

Consequently, medical and professional bodies now advocate using the transperineal route - the space between the legs and under the scrotum - instead.

The CamPROBE is designed to be a simple way of accessing the prostate via the transperineal route in an outpatient setting.

It requires two incisions instead of the typical 12 in related devices, and incorporates a needle sheathed within a coaxial cannula to deliver local anaesthetic.

Our aim is to make the lives of patients better through a simple and low pain approach of prostate cancer detection, hopefully benefitting the millions of men who have prostate biopsies every year.

Sean Licence, JEB Technologies

A licensing agreement for CamPROBE has been agreed with product development company JEB Technologies, which is launching the device at MEDICA 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, on 14-17 November.

Sean Licence, Business Development at JEB Technologies said:

“We are planning further clinical trials and post market activities that will aim to prove that CamPROBE is the optimum device for safe, simple, low-cost prostate biopsies that can be performed in an outpatient setting under local anaesthetic .

CamPROBE was supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, and funded with an NIHR i4i (Invention for Innovation) product development award.