SpaceOAR® Hydrogel- Quality of Life Protection for Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy Patients

Alaska Urology is proud to offer SpaceOAR® Hydrogel, a new tool that is proven to protect prostate cancer patients from the negative effects of radiation therapy. Minimize side effects of radiation therapy and protect quality of life with SpaceOAR hydrogel. 

Because of the close proximity of the prostate to the rectum, prostate radiation therapy typically results in some radiation hitting the rectum, which can sometimes cause side effects, such as pain during bowel movements, rectal urgency, bleeding or loose stools during or after radiation treatment. That’s why the rectum is called the Organ At Risk (OAR) during prostate radiation therapy.

SpaceOAR System reduces rectal injury in men receiving prostate cancer radiation therapy by acting as a spacer – separating the rectum away from the prostate and out of the high dose radiation region.  

SpaceOAR Hydrogel Pushes the Rectum Out of the High Dose Radiation Field

The hydrogel spacer is injected during a minimally invasive procedure, and — once in place — patients typically can’t feel it. The hydrogel is safe and similar to other products used in brain surgery, cardiology and ophthalmology. It remains in place for 3 months during radiation treatment, and is then absorbed and leaves the body in the patient’s urine — leaving nothing behind.

SpaceOAR System has been has been clinically proven and studied in a US Clinical Trial and is FDA cleared for sale in the US.

SpaceOAR® hydrogel (OAR stands for “organ at risk” which in this case is the rectum), helps protect your rectum during radiation treatments to the prostate. Naturally, you may have questions about how and why the procedure is done, and what to expect. This section will help to answer many of the questions you may have about the procedure. It is not intended to be a substitute for a thorough discussion with your physician. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us (instert hyperlink to contact us page)

SpaceOAR

Why Should I Have SpaceOAR Hydrogel?

The goal of radiation therapy is to maximize radiation to the prostate and to avoid radiating surrounding normal tissue. The prostate and rectum are very close and are only naturally separated by a small space. Due to this closeness, prostate radiation therapy can accidentally cause damage to the rectum. SpaceOAR hydrogel is a gel-like material that temporarily moves the rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy. By separating the prostate from the rectum, SpaceOAR hydrogel reduces radiation dose delivered to the rectum and may eliminate or reduce damage to the rectum. It may also allow your doctor to enhance radiation treatment to your prostate to better target the cancer or to reduce the total number of treatment sessions.

Is SpaceOAR Hydrogel Safe?

SpaceOAR hydrogel is made of two liquids that when combined form a soft gel-like synthetic material that is mostly made of water. Because of its water content it is called a hydrogel. The material that the SpaceOAR hydrogel is made from has been used in other implants such as surgical sealants used on the eye, brain and spine. Studies have shown that the material is biocompatible and can be used safely in the body. SpaceOAR hydrogel is commercially available in the United States and approved in countries outside the United States.

What Are The Risks?

SpaceOAR is intended to temporarily position the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy for prostate cancer and in creating this space it is the intent of SpaceOAR hydrogel to reduce the radiation dose delivered to the anterior rectum. The SpaceOAR hydrogel is composed of biodegradable material and maintains space for the entire course of prostate radiotherapy treatment. It is completely absorbed by the patient’s body over time.

Clinical data comparing patients with and without SpaceOAR hydrogel demonstrated the benefits of SpaceOAR hydrogel to include reduction of rectal toxicity resulting in improved bowel function, improvements in urinary function, and a higher likelihood to maintain sexual function.

Potential complications associated with SpaceOAR hydrogel include but are not limited to pain associated with SpaceOAR hydrogel injection; pain or discomfort associated with SpaceOAR hydrogel, needle penetration of the bladder, prostate, rectal wall, rectum, or urethra; injection of SpaceOAR hydrogel into the bladder, prostate, rectal wall, rectum, or urethra; local inflammatory reactions; infection; injection of air, fluid or SpaceOAR hydrogel intravascularly; urinary retention; rectal mucosal damage, ulcers, necrosis; bleeding; constipation; and rectal urgency.

For more information on SpaceOAR hydrogel go to http://www.spaceoar.com

*This guide is not intended to replace professional medical care or advice. If you have any questions or need additional information about SpaceOAR hydrogel, please talk with your doctor.

Welcome former Alaska Urological Institute Patients and Dr. Joshua Logan!