The SpaceOAR system – Spacing Organs At Risk – is a new treatment option for men with prostate cancer. This system uses a special gel to provide space between the prostate and rectum during radiation treatment. With radiation treatment, a little space means a big difference. The new radiation technology available at the St. Francis Cancer Center is very targeted so that it affects the tumor while sparing the surrounding tissue. But because the prostate and rectum are so close in the body, providing extra space between the two organs gives a much better chance that the rectum with remain unaffected by radiation.
For prostate cancer patients, the SpaceOAR hydrogel is injected as a liquid between the prostate and the rectum under ultrasound guidance. Once injected, the liquid turns into a solid within seconds and pushes the rectum away from the prostate. Combined with targeted radiation therapy, the result is reduced rectal radiation during radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
The solid hydrogel remains in place for three months, after which it is absorbed by the body and leaves the body in urine. Call the St. Francis Cancer Center at 864-603-6200 to learn more about this procedure.