St. Mary offers new SpaceOAR Hydrogel to minimize side effects of prostate cancer treatment

The treatment acts as a spacer between the rectum and prostate to minimize radiation exposure to surrounding normal tissue

St. Mary Medical Center now offers a new treatment called SpaceOAR Hydrogel, ideal for prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. The treatment acts as a spacer between the rectum and prostate to minimize radiation exposure to surrounding normal tissue.

During prostate radiation therapy, the rectum is at risk for damage caused by the radiation due to the closeness in proximity of the rectum to the prostate. SpaceOAR Hydrogel is administered through an injection between the rectum and the prostate to move the rectum a half inch away to minimize rectal radiation. The hydrogel is made of a soft gel-like material mostly composed of water, and remains stable during radiation therapy. Eventually, the body will absorb the hydrogel post radiation therapy.

“At St. Mary Medical Center, we are proud to offer patients innovative prostate cancer treatments that can help improve their overall wellbeing. Patients can have heightened quality of life during and after radiation therapy with SpaceOAR Hydrogel,” said Todd Flannery, MD, radiation oncologist at St. Mary Medical Center.

Prostate cancer radiation patients who received the SpaceOAR Hydrogel spacer reported significantly less rectal pain during radiotherapy and had significantly less severe long-term rectal complications. Overall, most hydrogel patients experienced an improvement in their quality of life.

St. Mary Medical Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to urologic cancer care by collaborating to identify best treatment options for patients.

“We are committed to delivering top-notch care to our patients to help place them on the path to good health,” added Michael Bickell, DO, urologist at St. Mary. “The hydrogel is minimally invasive and allows our patients to resume their lives after the 30-minute procedure.”

For more information about SpaceOAR Hydrogel, or to make an appointment with St. Mary Comprehensive Urologic Specialists, call 215-710-4490.