New technology offers breakthrough in prostate cancer diagnosis


  • One in twenty-three South African men stand the chance of getting cancer, with prostate cancer the most common type.
  • A lack of clear imaging has led to substantial uncertainty and inaccuracy in diagnosing prostate cancer.
  • In order to drive a shift in the attitude towards men’s health issues overall and the prostate cancer diagnostic pathway in particular, Philips is bringing its breakthrough high-tech fusion biopsy technology to South Africa.

November 10, 2016

Johannesburg, South Africa – One in twenty-three South African men stand the chance of getting cancer, with prostate cancer the most common type[1]. Yet many South African men undergoing standard biopsy techniques will have their cancer missed or under graded– and men’s health concerns continue to be given low priority on the health agenda.


In order to drive a shift in the attitude towards men’s health issues overall and prostate cancer diagnosis, in particular, Philips is showcasing its breakthrough high-tech fusion biopsy solution Philips Invivo UroNav in South Africa at the upcoming 34th World Congress of Endourology (8-12 November, Cape Town).


“Current detection methods – namely prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams (DRE) – lack specificity and are often inconclusive leading to many uncertainties for both patient and urologist,” says Dr Greg Boustead, Specialist Urologist and Robotic Surgeon at Netcare Waterfall City.


The need for image guided targeted prostate biopsies

Prostate biopsy, the most reliable method of detection, is a challenge because of the difficulties in visualizing potentially cancerous areas of the prostate, but also the location of the biopsy needle. Trans-rectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy (TRUS), the current biopsy standard, can be compared to looking for a needle in a haystack, with poor image resolution; the biopsy needle often passes through tumor-free areas of the prostate – potentially missing the tumor entirely[2].


“A lack of clear imaging has led to substantial uncertainty and inaccuracy in diagnosing prostate cancer: this means that at least 60% of cancers are missed; resulting in a 30%-40% re-biopsy rate.  The gold standard for prostate biopsy (a 35 year old pathway) is only accurately able to find up to 44% of prostate cancers within a cohort of men,” added Boustead.


There has been a major gap in imaging technology that improves precision in prostate diagnostics[3] – until Philips invested in a solution aimed at driving innovation that makes a real difference.


“The Philips Invivo UroNav fusion biopsy system is a breakthrough in prostate diagnostics for its ability to accurately target clinically significant cancers, reduce the detection of low-risk cancers and reduce the risk of erroneous initial biopsies leading to unnecessary repeat biopsies,” explains Ntutule Tshenye, CEO of Philips South & Southern Africa.


Philips Invivo UroNav uses magnetic resonance imaging, fused with live ultrasound guidance in conjunction with electromagnetic tracking to plan, guide, and document prostate biopsies. UroNav simultaneously displays registered MR and ultrasound images and the projected needle path relative to the suspicious target lesion during the biopsy procedure and guides the urologist in real-time. What this essentially means is that with this high resolution data and innovative targeting tools we can identify specific areas within the prostate gland that are suspicious and require further evaluation.

UroNav brings the power of MRI to the Urology suite as prostate and lesion segmentation data from Radiology are quickly and easily transferred to UroNav for review and target identification. “This critical exchange of diagnostic information fosters enhanced collaboration between Radiology and Urology in the assessment and biopsy of suspicious prostate lesions,” says Boustead. Dr. Boustead is one of the first urologists looking to invest in the Philips Invivo UroNav in South Africa in the future.

Performing a biopsy with MR/US fusion holds the potential to improve the sensitivity and specificity of prostate biopsies. This results in a reduced incidence rate of false negative biopsy results. 


“By enabling earlier diagnosis, Philips Invivo UroNav allows a broader array of treatment options to be considered by the clinician, less complications for the patient, and a more cost-effective resolution for the care provider,” concludes Tshenye.


Notes to editor:

For more information on Philips Invivo UroNav, you can visit:

[1] 2016 Men’s Foundation of South Africa Non-Profit Organisation statistics.

[2] Pinto PA, Chung PH, Rastinehad AR, et al. Magnetic resonance imaging/ultrasound fusion guided prostate biopsy improves cancer detection following transrectal ultrasound biopsy and correlates with multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging. J Urol. 2011;186:1281.

[3] Pinsky PF, Black A, Parnes HL. Prostate cancer specific survival in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. Cancer Epidemiol. 2012 Dec; 36(6):e401‐6.

For further information, please contact:

Radhika Choksey
Philips Group Communications - Africa
Tel: +31 62525 9000

About Royal Philips:


Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. The company, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips’ health technology portfolio generated 2015 sales of EUR 16.8 billion and employs approximately 69,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at