A robot could become the ‘weapon’ of choice for detecting and treating the most common cancer in men, improving results and reducing side effects.
Scientists and mathematicians in the UK, Netherlands and France are working on a potentially game-changing way of improving the accuracy of both prostate cancer biopsies and of brachytherapy, which is used to treat some prostate cancers.
The five-year £3.3m EU-funded project launched today brings together robot-design experts in France, a steerable flexible needle designed in the Netherlands, and a system guided by artificial intelligence and mathematical modelling by UK experts at the University of Portsmouth, UK, working with medics and Clinical Scientists at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, UK.
A prototype is expected to be ready within five years.
Professors Dylan Jones and Ashraf Labib, both at the University of Portsmouth, have decades of world-leading research in logistical modelling and in using artificial intelligence to help make better decisions.
Professor Jones said: “Prostate cancer was chosen for the development of this radical new treatment solution because it’s such a common cancer and where it is in the body lends itself to the use of robotics.
“There are particular challenges in delivering brachytherapy – it’s not the
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