20. Februar 2020

University Hospital Basel is offering a robot-controlled biopsy for suspected prostate cancer – the only one of its kind in Switzerland

If prostate cancer is suspected, patients can now take advantage of a method from University Hospital Basel (the only one of its kind in Switzerland). The device is called “Mona Lisa”, and it carries out robot-controlled biopsies that are more precise and safer than all testing options used to date.


University Hospital Basel is offering a new, highly modern, robot-controlled biopsy system to diagnose prostate cancer. The system is the first of its kind in Switzerland. This is safer and gentler for the patient than current methods and leads to excellent results.

The Mona Lisa System combines three procedures – magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) with robot-supported biopsy technology. A three-dimensional model of the prostate is generated from the MRT data and is merged with the real-time data from the TRUS to create an individual biopsy concept for each patient.

Through the combination of this imaging with cutting-edge robot technology, areas of the prostate with a suspected tumour can be biopsied more accurately. More tumours requiring treatment can be diagnosed, while unnecessary biopsies and treatment can be avoided, thanks to the improved precision in comparison to conventional biopsy methods.

The system also sets new standards in terms of patient safety and comfort. Samples are taken when the patient is sedated or under short-acting general anaesthetic. The procedure is absolutely pain free and takes place via just two puncture sites through the perineum. This means that the biopsy is particularly gentle for patients and the risk of infection is minimised in comparison to the usual biopsy route via the rectum.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The chances for recovery are good as long as the tumour is discovered in good time as the disease rarely exhibits any symptoms in the early stage. This is why it is essential to have a medical check-up. Modern imaging procedures have been available for a number of years alongside palpation of the prostate and a blood test. With the help of an MRI scan, areas of the prostate with a suspected tumour can be identified in the early stage. For a conclusive diagnosis and to plan treatment, sampling (a biopsy) from the prostate is then required.