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Cancer Treatment Centers of America


SpaceOAR® for prostate cancer

Because the prostate gland is located close to the bladder and rectum, it is important for radiation treatment to be focused directly toward the prostate and away from other areas to reduce the occurrence of serious side effects. SpaceOAR® creates a space around the prostate during high-dose prostate cancer radiation treatment. It is injected between the prostate and rectum and is designed to reduce damage to healthy tissue.

What is SpaceOAR®?

SpaceOAR® (OAR stands for “organ at risk”) System is a temporary, injectable gel designed to protect the rectum from radiation exposure in men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer. On average, hydrogel creates about a half-inch (or 1.3 cm) of space between the prostate and rectum. This technique is designed to allow physicians to treat the prostate with less radiation exposure to the rectum and fewer complications. It received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in April 2015.

How it works

The SpaceOAR poly-ethylene hydrogel is injected between the rectum and prostate during a minimally invasive procedure to increase the distance between those organs. The gel stays in the body for about three months, and then is naturally absorbed and eliminated from the body in the patient’s urine. By separating the prostate from the rectum, SpaceOAR hydrogel is designed to reduce radiation exposure to the rectum during treatment and may reduce, or possibly eliminate, damage to the rectum and associated side effects. Some potential side effects include bowel problems, urinary incontinence and other bladder issues.