What Is SpaceOAR Hydrogel?
SpaceOAR Hydrogel is a new technology designed to significantly reduce the exposure of the rectum to radiation in men who are receiving treatment for prostate cancer. It acts as a spacer between the closely situated rectum and prostate by pushing the rectum away from the area to be targeted with high doses of radiation, helping to minimise any damage or complications. The water-based gel is injected before beginning radiation treatment and acts as a protective cushion in front of the rectum.
How Does SpaceOAR Work?
Like malignant cancerous cells, normal healthy cells can also be destroyed and damaged by radiation therapy. This can lead to complications in the individual receiving treatment and cause side effects such as diarrhoea, urgent need to open the bowels, or rectal bleeding. SpaceOAR works by using ultrasound and placing a small amount of gel in between both areas, ensuring that the rectum is pushed away from the prostate so that much less of the rectum is irradiated. Once inserted, the gel solidifies into a gel which is slowly absorbed by the body of many weeks.
How Is SpaceOAR Administered?
The hydrogel will be injected in a minimally invasive procedure and performed by a doctor. Composed of biodegradable materials, the gel is designed to be absorbed into the body approximately three months later (typically the duration of radiation therapy) and should not be felt once in place. It is also resistant to radiotherapy and the integrity of the product cannot be compromised by radiation waves.
Why choose SpaceOAR?
Choosing SpaceOAR allows the patient to feel comfortable and confident that they are receiving the safest form of treatment during radiotherapy. Men using this experience less rectal and urinary side effects from radiotherapy than expected.
The hydrogel is made of a soft, synthetic biocompatible material, is completely safe and designed to dissolve and be excreted in urine over time, similar to products currently used across many other areas of the medical field. Once the hydrogel has been fully dissolved, there will be no trace of it left in the body.