Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

Addenbrooke’s charity supporting innovation for prostate cancer patients

Addenbrooke’s charity supporting innovation for prostate cancer patients

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CamProbe, an innovation project for prostate cancer patients supported through Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust’s (ACT’s) Innovation for Patient Benefit funding stream, has recently secured £800,000 further funding from the National Institute for Health Research.

ACT’s Innovation for Patient Benefit funding stream supports ideas, services and products that could shape the future for patients. Through this funding, ACT seeks to help progress innovative projects that are unlikely to secure support through commercial channels and that cannot be financed through NHS core funds.

One of the projects supported through this funding stream since it launched three years ago was a pilot study of CamProbe – a new device for prostate cancer biopsies. CamProbe (Cambridge Prostate Biopsy Device) has been developed at Addenbrooke’s as a safer biopsy method for the early detection of prostate cancer.

In 2015, ACT awarded £29,700 for CamProbe to be evaluated using patient volunteers in clinic with the aim of assessing patient acceptance, rates of complications and side effects when used in the outpatient setting. The objective being that a successful pilot study would justify a larger study to compare the CamProbe as a safer and more accurate alternative to the current standard biopsy method.

Now, following the ACT-funded proof of concept study, the CamProbe team have secured funding of £800,000 from the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme to take this novel test for prostate cancer from a prototype to a CE-marked device for clinical application.

Mr Vincent Gnanapragasam, Addenbrooke’s consultant urologist, developed CamProbe and leads the study. He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to improve prostate cancer diagnostics and I am very grateful to ACT for their initial support. I am delighted that NIHR have chosen to invest in the CamProbe. Its use in hospital outpatient departments will mean a positive change in the experience of patients referred with suspected prostate cancer and a much safer way to diagnose the disease.”

Dr Jenny Longmore, Director of Research at Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust said: “We were pleased to provide early-stage funding for the proof of concept study for CamProbe, which could make a significant difference for patients in the future. We are delighted that our support has helped Mr Gnanapragasam and his team secure the much larger resources needed to develop this device beyond the prototype and nearer to the clinic.”

Visit the Cambridge University Hospitals website to read more about this exciting development: 


Please note, this project is independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme grant  II-LB-0716-20001). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, National Institute for Health Research or Department of Health.