Hitachi to supply six ultrasound systems to improve prostate cancer diagnosis

Hitachi Medical Systems Europe supplies equipment to improve prostate cancer diagnosis as part of the innovative RAPID programme at three major hospitals across south west London

The ultrasound technology will help with the diagnosis of prostate cancer among men in the UK

Hitachi Medical Systems Europe has won a contract to supply six ultrasound systems which will help to improve prostate cancer diagnosis.

Commissioned as part of The Rapid Assessment Prostate Imaging and Diagnosis (RAPID) programme, the machines will accelerate the pathway leading to a ‘one-stop shop’ for men with prostate cancer by providing a multi-parametric MRI together with ultrasound imaging and biopsy on the same day.

This is going to make a real difference to men through quicker diagnosis, reducing the anxious time waiting for scan results, allowing for earlier treatment if needed, and reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies undertaken

This will reduce unnecessary biopsies and provide accurate targeting while reducing the number of samples needed.

Hitachi Medical Systems Europe, a European distributor for BiopSee, the image-guided prostate biopsy system from MedCom, has been awarded the contract for the six high-resolution ARIETTA ultrasound and BiopSee fusion systems that together offer revolutionary technology for combining mp-MRI data with real-time ultrasound.

The pilots have been developed through funding from RM Partners, the Cancer Alliance for west London hosted by The Royal Marsden.

Three trusts are piloting RAPID – Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The RAPID approach involves the patient having an mp-MRI scan in the morning and reported on immediately. If it shows areas of abnormality, the patient will then undergo a transperineal ultrasound fusion biopsy, all within the same day.

The transperineal approach, in which samples are taken through the perineum rather than the rectum, is important as it confers a comparatively low risk of sepsis and can obviate the need for broad spectrum antibiotics and the possible development of antibiotic resistance.

It will be fascinating to analyse the data from RAPID and to fully understand its potential impact on diagnosis rates and care in the UK

Hashim Ahmed, professor and chair of urology at Imperial College London, said “After trialling various systems on the market we felt that the Hitachi ARIETTA and MedCom BiopSee combination offered us the best in high resolution imaging together with precise, accurate needle placement and an easy streamlined fusion software interface.

“This will help deliver a faster diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer and reduce waiting times. The safer transperineal biopsy route will also reduce infection and life-threatening sepsis rates.”

Nicola Hunt, managing director at RM Partners, added: “We are delighted to be working with such inspirational clinicians who are at the forefront of delivering this innovative approach to prostate cancer diagnosis.

“In less than a year since the evidence was published to support this new approach, we have three sites across west London rolling out this investigative pathway. This is going to make a real difference to men through quicker diagnosis, reducing the anxious time waiting for scan results, allowing for earlier treatment if needed, and reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies undertaken.”

The BiopSee system fuses the mp-MRI images with the Hitachi ultrasound images in real-time, allowing highly-accurate placement of the biopsy needle in the prostate to target the tumour with exceptional precision.

“3D ultrasound image acquisition, rigid/elastic fusion capabilities together with precise stepper tracking and reporting software deliver an exceptional diagnostic platform supporting the RAPID programme in London.

BiopSee records and stores the location of each tissue sample, providing comprehensive documentation and reporting of biopsy core locations for accurate management of patients requiring further treatment and therapy planning in cryotherapy, brachytherapy, HIFU, RF or other treatment programmes.

Jean-Luc Budillon, president chief operating officer at Hitachi Medical Systems Europe, said: “We’re very excited to have been selected as part of the RAPID programme and look forward to the rollout of the project as Hitachi’s revolutionary technology is installed across these three sites.

“Our technological systems are designed by a team of highly-skilled personnel, with years of expertise invested to bring this new hybrid system to the clinical environment.

“We are also fortunate to be working with some of the world’s leading medical experts on prostate cancer as part of the programme.

“It’s wonderful to see the adoption of such a forward-thinking approach to better managing the patient pathway in prostate cancer.

It’s wonderful to see the adoption of such a forward-thinking approach to better managing the patient pathway in prostate cancer

“It will be fascinating to analyse the data from RAPID and to fully understand its potential impact on diagnosis rates and care in the UK.

“We’re confident that patients will experience huge benefits from this innovative care pathway.”

Prostate cancer diagnosis has become a national health priority, with Prime Minister, Theresa May recently announcing the Government’s £75m prostate cancer drive to be administered via the National Institute for Health Research clinical research network.

This initiative will see 40,000 men recruited for research into the disease, which kills more than 11,000 a year and causes great anxiety and sometimes suffering for the 47,000 men who get a diagnosis.

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