Breakthrough Device for Prostate Cancer Patients

Space Oar LogoEach year, more than 160,000 men in the United States are diagnosed with prostate cancer. A common, non-invasive, and highly effective treatment option for the disease is Radiation Therapy, however, it can cause side effects. McLaren Northern Michigan is honored to be one of the first locations in Michigan to offer a game-changing medical device that is clinically proven to minimize radiation therapy side effects for prostate cancer patients.

SpaceOAR® hydrogel is a new device that works to protect prostate cancer patients from common side effects of radiation therapy, such as unintended radiation injury to surrounding healthy tissue, including the rectum and bladder. This can lead to a range of bowel, urinary, and sexual function symptoms that can negatively affect patient health and quality of life.

Since SpaceOAR has become available at McLaren Northern Michigan, several patients have benefited from this new device with many more patients scheduled for device placement. Karmanos Cancer Institute Radiation Oncologists Thomas Boike, MD, and Isaac Kaufman, MD, along with urologists James Howard, MD, and H. Michael Topley, MD, all on medical staff at McLaren Northern Michigan, have been working together to bring this innovative device to patients.

“Many men that we treat for prostate cancer come into our office with concerns about the risks associated with radiation therapy. The possibility of bowel, urinary, and sexual side effects can be worrisome,” said Dr. Boike. “However, with SpaceOAR hydrogel, we can now reduce side effects via a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, allowing patients to proceed with radiation therapy with more confidence and an improved quality of life for years to come.”

As the first and only prostate cancer spacing device to receive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance, SpaceOAR hydrogel is placed between the prostate and rectum, protecting surrounding tissue from high-dose radiation exposure. Administered as a liquid via an injection, SpaceOAR hydrogel quickly solidifies into a soft gel that expands the space between the prostate and rectum. The hydrogel spacer maintains this space until radiation therapy is complete and is then naturally absorbed and cleared from the body.

In the clinical trial, results showed that fewer than 66 percent of SpaceOAR hydrogel patients experienced clinically significant declines in long-term bowel quality of life issues, including diarrhea, rectal urgency, and incontinence, as compared to patients who were not treated with the hydrogel system.3 Additionally, 65 percent fewer patients treated with SpaceOAR hydrogel experienced clinically significant declines in long-term urinary quality of life issues, including mild urinary incontinence, as compared to patients who were not treated with the hydrogel.3 And finally, 78 percent of those treated with SpaceOAR hydrogel were more likely to retain erections at three years, compared to 37.5 percent who were not treated with the hydrogel.

For more information on SpaceOAR hydrogel, please call (800) 248-6777.