UCL Engineering


The tumour hunter

Breakthrough device for the detection of prostate cancer


14 February 2020

UCL Computer Science Spinout SmartTarget Ltd has announced the launch of a new device for the detection of prostate cancer. The CE certified SmartTarget system is an image fusion device for guiding targeted, transperineal prostate biopsy.

Designed and developed by world-leading urologists and biomedical engineers, the technology enables image-directed tumour targeting during minimally invasive biopsy procedures for prostate cancer patients and has undergone extensive clinical evaluation in over 200 patients at UCLH.

Patented, state-of-the-art image fusion techniques allow for a simple and efficient single-user workflow in which changes in the shape and position of the prostate between magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound images are automatically compensated for.

SmartTarget is dedicated to providing high accuracy, easy-to-use and affordable medical image fusion solutions for guiding prostate cancer biopsy and minimally-invasive cancer treatments.

Its unique technology is based on research by scientists and engineers within UCL’s Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC), one of the world’s leading academic groups in the field of medical image processing and analysis.

Chief Scientific Officer and co-inventor of the SmartTarget software and UCL Senior Lecturer Dr Dean Barratt commented: “The SmartTarget software is the culmination of 10 years’ research, and incorporates some of the most advanced technology available in any commercial medical image fusion system. We look forward to continuing to develop the software for new medical applications.”

Recently demonstrated at the British Association of Urological Surgeons’ annual scientific meeting, the market-ready SmartTarget generated an enthusiastic response from visitors.

CEO Mark Kirby said: “There are significant changes coming in the care pathway for men with prostate cancer and I believe that SmartTarget is ideally placed to deliver this better and more economic pathway.”