Radiotherapy is a form of treatment for cancer using high-energy X-rays to destroy cancerous cells and is used in the treatment of many types of cancers, including prostate cancer.

During radiotherapy treatment, some of the X-rays will pass through to the rectal wall, as the prostate lies next to your rectum. This could affect healthy, non-cancerous cells causing rectal damage known as radiation proctitis.

The London Clinic is the first hospital in the UK to offer our prostate cancer patients a new treatment called SpaceOAR®

SpaceOAR is a high-tech hydrogel that has been designed to protect patients from the possibility of rectal damage sustained during their radiotherapy treatment.

This spacing gel is inserted between the prostate and the rectum, pushing and moving the rectum out of the high dose radiation region with the aim of protecting the healthy cells from damage.

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Image reprinted with permission from Augmenix

 

The SpaceOAR gel is injected during a short procedure and remains in place for between three and six months during radiation treatment. It is then naturally absorbed by the body over time and leaves in the patient’s urine.

By moving the rectum further away from the prostate gland, we are able to treat the cancerous prostate area and simultaneously reduce unwanted damage to the rectal wall.