SpaceOAR Specialist

Greater Houston Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncologists located in Huntsville, TX & Southbelt, Houston, TX

SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel provides vital protection for the tissues behind your prostate during radiation therapy. If you have prostate cancer and require radiation therapy, Kirk Kanady, MD, and Maria Sosa, MD, of Greater Houston Radiation Oncology, specialize in providing treatment with the benefit of SpaceOAR Hydrogel protection. The practice has two offices in Houston, Texas, and one in Huntsville, Texas. Call the Greater Houston Radiation Oncology office nearest you today to find out how you could benefit from using SpaceOAR during treatment or book an appointment online.

SpaceOAR Q & A

What is SpaceOAR?

SpaceOAR Hydrogel is a product that your provider at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology uses to reduce the level of radiation going into your rectum when you have radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

Your prostate gland sits below your bladder and next to your rectum – this is why a rectal exam is so useful for assessing prostate health. When you have prostate cancer that requires radiation therapy, the radiation doesn't just penetrate your prostate but also goes into the section of your rectum directly behind it.

SpaceOAR Hydrogel is a safe, effective way of blocking potentially harmful radiation from causing damage to your rectum. SpaceOAR Hydrogel is biocompatible, consisting of water and polyethylene glycol (PEG), which together form a spongy gel. PEG is a common component of many types of medical products and surgical implants.

Why would I need radiation therapy for prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is often slow-growing, and some patients who have the disease don't require treatment – just monitoring. However, there are more aggressive forms of prostate cancer that might require treatment, or your condition might change.

Surgery to remove the prostate might be advisable, followed by radiation therapy. Some patients just undergo radiation therapy. There are two ways to receive radiation therapy for prostate cancer:

External beam radiation

This involves having energy beams like X-rays or protons directed into your prostate while you lie on a treatment table. External beam radiation typically requires regular treatments five days a week over several weeks.

Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy involves the implantation of radioactive seeds the size of rice grains in your prostate tissue. The seeds give out radiation slowly over time. When they stop, your body absorbs them.

Modern techniques ensure a high degree of accuracy when delivering both external beam radiation and brachytherapy. However, due to the closeness of your rectum to your prostate gland, some radiation is likely to get through, causing damage to your rectal tissues.

SpaceOAR Hydrogel is a simple, safe way to prevent rectal tissue damage.

How does SpaceOAR Hydrogel work?

SpaceOAR Hydrogel forms a barrier between your prostate and rectum. It acts as a spacer, pushing your rectum away from your prostate to reduce the dose of radiation that reaches your rectum.

Your provider at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology injects SpaceOAR Hydrogel into the space between your prostate and rectum. Many patients can have this done with a local anesthetic, but some might require general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 30 minutes.

SpaceOAR Hydrogel remains in place throughout your prostate radiation therapy treatment (typically three months), and then your body absorbs the biodegradable gel over time.

To learn more about SpaceOAR Hydrogel and how you could benefit from this treatment, call Greater Houston Radiation Oncology today or book an appointment online.