The Department of Radiation Oncology has begun administering SpaceOAR hydrogel in patients undergoing prostate radiotherapy at the UF Health Medical Oncology – Davis Cancer Pavilion.
SpaceOAR hydrogel is injected into place prior to the start of radiation treatment. Patients may be awake or asleep under general anesthesia for the procedure. It is minimally invasive and is gradually absorbed by the body.
The rectum’s proximity to the prostate makes it susceptible to injury during high radiation doses. According to SpaceOAR manufacturer Augmenix, Inc., to reduce this injury, the spacer pushes the rectum away from the prostate, adding about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of extra space between the prostate and the rectum. This distance significantly reduces the radiation dose to the rectum and patients who received the hydrogel reported significantly less rectal pain during radiotherapy and had significantly less severe long-term rectal complications.
Results from a randomized clinical trial show fewer declines in bowel quality of life, urinary quality of life, and sexual function in patients using SpaceOAR Hydrogel.