Tri-Cities Cancer Center Offers Procedure to Reduce Prostate Cancer Treatment Side Effects called SpaceOAR® hydrogel

What is SpaceOAR?
SpaceOAR® hydrogel is an option for men who undergo radiation treatment for prostate cancer. It acts as a spacer providing space between the rectum and the prostate, making it much less likely that the rectum is exposed to radiation. It is injected into place prior to the start of radiation treatment. Patients may be awake or asleep under general anesthesia for the procedure. SpaceOAR® hydrogel is not painful, remains stable during radiation therapy and then is gradually absorbed by the body after radiation therapy has been completed.

Why Should a Patient Have SpaceOAR® hydrogel?
The goal of radiation therapy is to maximize radiation to the prostate and to avoid radiating surrounding normal tissue. The prostate and rectum are very close and are only naturally separated by a small space. Due to this closeness, prostate radiation therapy can accidentally cause damage to the rectum. SpaceOAR® hydrogel 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® hydrogel reduces radiation dose delivered to the rectum and may eliminate or reduce damage to the rectum. It may also allow your doctor to enhance radiation treatment to your prostate to better target the cancer or to reduce the total number of treatment sessions 1.

What is it made of and is it safe?
SpaceOAR® hydrogel is made up of two liquids that when combined form a soft gel material that is mostly made of water. Because of the water content it is called a hydrogel. It can be safely used in the body without causing injury or a reaction. The material that the SpaceOAR® hydrogel is made from has been used in other implants such as surgical sealants used in the eye, brain and spine

Has SpaceOAR® hydrogel been approved?
SpaceOAR® hydrogel has FDA clearance in the US and is approved for use in Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and other countries around the world.

In what type of radiation treatment can SpaceOAR hydrogel be used?
SpaceOAR® hydrogel can be used in all types of radiation therapy.

For more information regarding the SpaceOAR® procedure, please visit

  1. Hydrogel Spacer Prospective Multicenter Randomized Controlled Pivotal Trial: Dosimetric and Clinical Effects of Perirectal Spacer Application in Men Undergoing Prostate Image Guided Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy. Mariados, Neil et al. International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics , Volume 92 , Issue 5 , 971 – 977