SpaceOAR® for Prostate Cancer
SpaceOAR® Hydrogel creates space around the prostate, which can help protect healthy tissue during radiation therapy.
SpaceOAR®* hydrogel is an injectable gel that is naturally eliminated from the body over time.
SpaceOAR® goes into the body as two liquids—one of which is water. This is why SpaceOAR® is called a hydrogel. When the two liquids combine, they quickly form a soft gel, which allows SpaceOAR® to stay in position in your body. The other material is a synthetic that has been shown to be safe and biocompatible; it is used in other medical procedures, as well.
*The name of this product, SpaceOAR®, stands for "Spacing Organs at Risk (OAR)."
When injected, the gel creates about one centimeter (1/2 inch) of extra space between the prostate and the rectum, which gives the radiation oncologists—the cancer doctors who provide radiation therapy—more room to treat the prostate.
Why is this space important?
Radiation therapy targets tumors—but it can also impact nearby healthy tissue. Because the prostate and rectum are very close together in the body, there is a risk that the rectum—the last section of the large intestine—can be damaged during treatment. This damage may result in side effects such as bleeding, diarrhea, discomfort, and more.
The diagram below illustrates how SpaceOAR creates this helpful, protective space.
The extra room around the prostate created by SpaceOAR® gel means that you have:
- the ability to receive higher, more effective doses of radiation
- decreased chance of bowel and rectal injury, which can lead to bleeding and diarrhea during radiation
- reduced risk of urinary incontinence
Treatment is Unique for Every Patient
It is important to remember that every patient—and every cancer—is unique. This means that your doctor will determine whether SpaceOAR® is appropriate for your customized treatment plan. If SpaceOAR® is not right for you, your doctor will share why and will explain the options that are best—and safest—for you.
SpaceOAR® hydrogel is injected into the body using a minimally invasive procedure, and it will remain in the body during your treatment.
When your treatment is finished, your body will slowly absorb the hydrogel and eliminate it through your urine.
If SpaceOAR® will be a part of your cancer treatment—or the treatment of a loved one—you will receive education, instructions, and support before, during, and after therapy. Your doctors, nurses, and radiation therapists will be able to answer any specific questions you may have.
You can also check out the resources below to hear from doctors who use SpaceOAR® and patients who have had radiation therapy with SpaceOAR®. You can also learn more about the scientific evidence supporting the use of this innovative technology.
Patient-Physician Testimonial: AnMed Health (South Carolina)
Brochures & Slides
*The materials provided here are not a substitute for the advice of your doctor or other medical professional. If you have questions, concerns, or are interested in learning more about how SpaceOAR could work for you or a loved one, please contact your doctor's office or the Middlesex Health Cancer Center.
SpaceOAR Hydrogel - Minimize Side Effects
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