SpaceOAR® New Breakthrough in Prostate Cancer Treatment
For patients diagnosed with prostate cancer, choosing the right treatment can be challenging because each approach offers benefits but also the potential for side effects. However, a new breakthrough may make the decision easier– and we’re excited to share the news that it’s now available to patients here at Advanced Urology Associates.
Recently cleared by the FDA, a new tool called SpaceOAR® hydrogel provides unprecedented protection for the rectum during radiation treatment. This is a significant advancement considering the most common side effects of radiation therapy are related to rectal damage. By creating space between the prostate and rectum, SpaceOAR hydrogel reduces the incidence of short- and long-term bowel complications, including diarrhea, bleeding and pain.
To understand the significance of creating space between the rectum and prostate requires a bit of background and context. Most prostate tumors occur in the lower part of the prostate, known as the peripheral zone, or the area closest to the rectal wall. Since the inception of radiation therapy, physicians have struggled with how to deliver enough radiation to the prostate to kill the cancer cells without harming nearby vital organs.
SpaceOAR solves this problem. By creating about a half inch of space between the prostate and rectum, SpaceOAR hydrogel helps protect the rectum during radiation treatment, reducing the likelihood and intensity of potential side effects. Another benefit is that more powerful beams of radiation can be delivered safely to the prostate because the rectum is further away and protected. After radiation treatment is complete, the hydrogel slowly disintegrates and is naturally cleared from the body.
At Advanced Urology Associates, we strive to provide our patients with the highest-quality of care. Incorporating SpaceOAR hydrogel into our practice is an easy, but important choice, and we are proud to be among the first centers in the U.S. to offer it.
If you’d like to learn more about SpaceOAR hydrogel, please talk to your doctor about whether SpaceOAR technology is right for you.