SpaceOAR Hydrogel May Treat Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy
Because there is only a small space separating the prostate and the rectum, damage to the rectum can occur during prostate cancer radiation therapy, potentially impacting urinary function, bowel function and sexual function. But an FDA-cleared product called SpaceOAR Hydrogel can be used to minimize side effects, better target the cancer and possibly reduce the total number of treatment sessions you need. This blog covers the basics of incorporating this product into your treatment.
How Does SpaceOAR Hydrogel Work during Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy?
Two liquids combine to form a soft gel-like synthetic material that is mostly made of water. This material temporarily moves the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy, eliminating or reducing this damage. We provide patients with all of the information needed in advance of the procedure, which is commonly done in a hospital, surgery center, outpatient clinic or a doctor’s office. The injection should not cause any major discomfort or impact your ability to immediately resume your normal activities, although it’s important to note to results may vary. We may have additional directions for individual patients depending on their unique circumstances.
Is SpaceOAR hydrogel Safe?
The material has been used in other implant procedures such as surgical sealants used on the eye, brain and spine. Studies show the material can be used safely and is completely absorbed into the body in about six months. The hydrogel separates the prostate and rectum for about 3 of those months.
The side effects of prostate cancer radiation therapy can include rectal pain and bleeding, chronic diarrhea, urinary urgency and leakage, and erectile dysfunction. Clinical study results of patient-reported outcomes showed SpaceOAR hydrogel patients experienced significantly fewer long-term rectal side effects, were more likely to maintain sexual function, and had significantly higher patient reported scores for urinary and bowel Quality of Life.
Possible risks of using SpaceOAR hydrogel include, but are not limited to, pain associated with injection; pain or discomfort, needle penetration of the bladder, prostate, rectal wall, rectum, or urethra; injection 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.
To learn more about SpaceOAR hydrogel, visit their website or ask about it during your scheduled consultation at our Radiation Oncology office.
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