A study looking at a new way to take tissue samples from the prostate to diagnose prostate cancer (CAMPROBE pilot study)

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Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Prostate cancer





This study is looking at a new method called CAMPROBE to take tissue samples (biopsies) to diagnose prostate cancer.

It is for men:

  • who are going to Addenbrooke’s hospital
  • who have already had at least 1 prostate biopsy and have been asked by their doctor to have another biopsy 

More about this trial

Prostate biopsies are used to diagnose prostate cancer.

During a biopsy, the doctor usually passes a needle up the back passage to the prostate Open a glossary item. They put an ultrasound probe Open a glossary item into the back passage to guide the biopsy. This is called transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy (TRUS).          

But there can be problems with TRUS biopsies. Sometimes it can:

  • miss the cancer cells
  • cause an infection Open a glossary item
  • cause bleeding 

So the researchers in this study are looking at a different way to take prostate tissue samples called CAMPROBE. It stands for Cambridge Prostate Biopsy Device.

Prostate biopsies are taken by putting needles through the skin between the rectum and the scrotum (the perineum). This can cause fewer infections because biopsies are not taken through the back passage.

To have perineal biopsies, men usually have a general anaesthetic Open a glossary item and have many needles put into the perineum. In this study men have a local anaesthetic Open a glossary item. And biopsies are taken through 2 points in the perineum. Doctors think this method might be better and safer than TRUS biopsies.

The main aims of this study are to find out:

  • how good and safe CAMPROBE is at taking tissue samples
  • how people feel about this new method
  • if it is possible to do a larger study to compare CAMPROBE with TRUS biopsies to find out which is best 

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.

You may be able to join this study if you are a man going to Addenbrooke’s hospital and all of the following apply. You

  • Have had a TRUS biopsy and the doctor has asked you to have another biopsy
  • Are aged between 18 to 85 years

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You:

  • Are not able to have a prostate biopsy for any reason, for example you have a condition which means you are likely to bleed
  • Have had surgery to your anus Open a glossary item or the area between the anus and the scrotum Open a glossary item (the perineum)  
  • Are unable to lie down with your legs raised and apart for 45 minutes (you lie down on a special bed where you rest your legs) 

Trial design

This is a pilot study. Researchers need about 50 men who are going to Addenbrooke’s hospital to take part.   

First, you have:

  • a drug to prevent infections (an antibiotic Open a glossary item)
  • a drug to empty your back passage of poo (a glycerine suppository Open a glossary item)

Then, you lie down with the legs raised and resting on supports. The doctor gives you a local anaesthetic Open a glossary item to make the area between your anus and scrotum (perineum) numb.

After a few minutes, your doctor puts an ultrasound probe into the back passage (rectum). Then, he uses the CAMPROBE device to take tissues samples from the prostate. He can take up to 12 samples.    

After taking the tissue samples, the doctor removes the device and the ultrasound probe.

You stay in hospital until you have passed urine but you shouldn’t need to stay overnight. The study team gives you some antibiotics to take at home.

You complete questionnaires before and after your biopsy. And 7 days later when you are at home. The questionnaires asks you about:

  • your symptoms
  • whether you have any pain 

Hospital visits

You do not have any extra visits as part of this study. You have the CAMBROBE biopsy at the same time of your normal hospital visit. 

You speak to the doctor about 2 to 3 weeks after the CAMPROBE biopsy for the results. The study team also ask:

  • how you have been doing
  • if you have had problems after the CAMPROBE biopsy (such as bleeding)
  • if you needed to see the GP or go into hospital

Side effects

Researchers think the possible most common side effects of the CAMPROBE biopsy are:

  • blood in the urine
  • bruising in the skin between the rectum and scrotum (the perineum)
  • not being able to pass urine (urine retention) 

Before you go home, the study team tell you what symptoms to look out for and when you should contact a doctor.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Mr Vincent J Gnanapragasam 

Supported by

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
University of Cambridge

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Keith took part in a trial looking into hormone therapy

A picture of Keith

"Health wise I am feeling great. I am a big supporter of trials - it allows new treatments and drugs to be brought in.”

Last reviewed:

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