UF team receives grant to develop prostate biopsy guidance system

By Ian Bennett

Samsun Lampotang, Ph.D, FSSH, FAIMBE, and Thomas Stringer, M.D., FACS, have been awarded a grant from the Florida Department of Health Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program to build and verify a 3D perspective visualization guidance system for use with prostate biopsy equipment at the UF Urology Clinic. 

Samsun Lampotang, Ph.D., FSSH, FAIMBE

Lampotang, a member of the UF Health Cancer Center’s Cancer Control & Population Sciences research program, is the J.S. Gravenstein Professor of Anesthesiology, joint professor of urology and director of the Center for Safety, Simulation, and Advanced Learning Technologies. Stringer is an associate professor and the associate chair of philanthropy and alumni affairs in the department of urology in the UF College of Medicine. 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. It is estimated that about 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with the disease. A prostate biopsy is commonly used to collect tissue samples to diagnose prostate cancer, but current techniques have limitations. A freehand transrectal ultrasound-guided systematic prostate biopsy is predominantly used for initial biopsies, but it can produce a high percentage of false negatives where the cancer is present but not sampled during the biopsy procedure.  

Thomas Stringer, M.D.

The proposed guidance system uses electromagnetic tracking for an intuitive user interface and has the potential to improve the accuracy of prostate biopsy. The new system could reduce the rate of prostate biopsy false negatives to 2%. The UF Office of Technology Licensing has filed for patent protection for this new guidance technology.  

Through this project, Lampotang and his team seek to be the first to build both the hardware and software to retrofit a visualized prostate biopsy system to an ultrasound probe. This system will provide planning, guidance and feedback during systematic and targeted prostate biopsy. They will evaluate the safety and efficacy of this approach in preclinical models and determine the optimal design and integration of the visualized prostate biopsy system. 

“We selected prostate biopsy as the first procedure for applying the electromagnetic, 3D perspective guidance because it promises to significantly reduce the rate of prostate biopsy false, between 21% and 47%,” Lampotang said. “We are also exploring the future applicability of the guidance system for other biopsies and other procedures like percutaneous nephrolithotomy.”