The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have jointly developed a Prostate Robotic System that will improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostrate cancer, the fifth most common cancer in Singaporean men.
The Prostate Robotic System is a robotic biopsy and potential radioactive seed treatment delivery system designed by a group of professors and students from School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), NTU, in collaboration with clinicians at Department of Urology, SGH. This SGH-NTU research team was jointly led by Dr Christopher Cheng, Head of Department of Urology, SGH and Associate Professor Ng Wan Sing from School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NTU.
The team started developing this system in mid-2001, leveraging on SGH's clinical knowledge of the disease and NTU's engineering expertise in robotics technology. Funding of some half a million dollars were obtained from the National Medical Research Council and SingHealth. The team has filed a provisional US patent for the Prostate Robotic System and plans to have the system commercially available within the next five years. In the meantime, the team has embarked on further enhancement on the Robotic System and plans to incorporate a new method of guidance for even more accurate biopsies. The team members are hopeful of obtaining additional funding and are currently seeking possible development partnerships with medical instrumentation companies.