Docrates first in the Nordics to offer a new tool to minimize side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer

Radiation therapy is an extremely effective treatment method in prostate cancer. The survival rate for patients undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer are today among the highest of any forms of cancer.

The goal of prostate cancer radiation therapy is to maximize radiation to the prostate and avoid radiating the surrounding normal tissue. However, the prostate and the rectum are very close to each other and are only naturally separated by a small space. Due to this closeness, prostate radiation therapy can accidently cause damage to the rectum.

SpaceOAR is set between the prostate and the rectum to temporarily move the rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy.

At Docrates Cancer Center we have begun as the first hospital in the Nordics to use SpaceOAR Hydrogel to prostate cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. SpaceOAR is a gel-like material that temporarily moves the rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy. By separating the prostate from the rectum, SpaceOAR reduces radiation dose delivered to the rectum and eliminates or reduces damage to the rectum, also on the long term. SpaceOAR has in clinical studies even shown to reduce urinary incontinence and maintain sexual function. (1)

SpaceOAR is injected to the perineum in local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia. The procedure can be done combined with the insertion of gold anchors and golden fiducials. Radiation therapy can be initiated already on the following day. The material created by the gel is gradually absorbed by the body within 3-6 months of insertion.

SpaceOAR has been used at Docrates Cancer Center since October 2017. So far it has been used in the treatment of nearly 40 people.

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1. Continued Benefit to Rectal Separation for Prostate RT: Final Results of a Phase III Trial. Daniel A. Hamstra, MD, PhD, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Apr 1; 97(5):976-985.