Radiation therapy for prostate cancer

SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel can be used in all types of prostate cancer radiation therapy and may help minimize the side effects associated with treatment.1

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. Depending on health factors and your stage of prostate cancer, radiation therapy may be a treatment option. SpaceOAR Hydrogel is designed to help reduce the radiation dose delivered to the rectum during treatment for prostate cancer and may help minimize side effects associated with treatment. There are four main types of radiation for prostate cancer. Together with your physician, you’ll choose the best course of treatment for your prostate cancer journey.1,3

Common Types of Radiation Therapy


External beam radiation therapy icon.External beam radiation therapy (or EBRT)

In EBRT, a machine outside the body focuses beams of radiation on the prostate. Most patients get external radiation therapy over many weeks, during outpatient visits to a hospital or treatment center. Treatments are reported to be painless and generally last a few minutes.3

Internal radiation icon.Internal radiation (or brachytherapy)

Internal radiation involves putting a radioactive source inside the body or near the tumor. Brachytherapy may come in the form of seed implantation, which uses radioactive pellets inserted into the prostate. Internal radiation can be used in conjunction with EBRT if necessary.3

Stereotactic body radiation therapy icon.Stereotactic body radiation therapy (or SBRT or CyberKnife®)

SBRT uses advanced imaging techniques to deliver precise, very large doses of radiation to the prostate. SBRT therapy is given over the course of a few days. The main reason patients opt for this form of radiation therapy is for the short duration of treatment.3

Proton beam therapy icon.Proton beam therapy

Proton beam therapy uses proton beams in lieu of X-rays or photons to more precisely deliver high dose radiation to cancerous cells in the prostate. This has less of an impact on surrounding healthy tissues and important organs, such as the bladder and rectum.3

While these are the four most common types of radiation for prostate cancer, they may not be available everywhere or best for every patient. Research all of your options on the American Cancer Society website at cancer.org, and choose the best treatment option based on the guidance of your healthcare provider.

"It was a no-brainer."

Dr. James Gray,
Radiation Oncologist and SpaceOAR Hydrogel Patient, on choosing SpaceOAR Hydrogel for his own prostate cancer treatment

Frequently Asked Questions.

By pushing the prostate farther from the rectum, the radiation dose delivered to the rectum is reduced, which may lessen damage to the rectum. With SpaceOAR Hydrogel in place, a doctor can complement the patient’s radiation treatment to better target their cancer while preserving healthy tissue to help maintain quality of life.1-3

SpaceOAR Hydrogel was FDA-cleared in April 2015 and is intended to temporarily position the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy for prostate cancer. In creating this space, it is the intent of SpaceOAR Hydrogel to reduce the radiation dose delivered to the anterior rectum. The SpaceOAR Hydrogel is composed of biodegradable material and maintains space for the entire course of prostate radiotherapy treatment and is completely absorbed by the patient’s body over time.

Read the FDA Clearance Letter

SpaceOAR Hydrogel is injected as a liquid through a needle inserted between the rectum and the prostate. It can be implanted via a local anesthetic that will numb the injection area or under general anesthesia that will put a patient to sleep during the procedure. SpaceOAR Hydrogel stays in place for about three months and is naturally absorbed into the body and removed through urine in about 6 months. SpaceOAR Hydrogel can be implanted during an outpatient procedure in a hospital, surgery center, outpatient clinic or doctor’s office prior to the start of radiation treatment. It is typically not a lengthy procedure – usually about 30 minutes.2

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As with any medical treatment, there are some risks involved with the use of SpaceOAR Hydrogel. Potential complications associated with SpaceOAR Hydrogel include, but are not limited to: pain associated with SpaceOAR hydrogel injection; pain or discomfort associated with SpaceOAR Hydrogel; needle penetration of the bladder, prostate, rectal wall, rectum, or urethra; injection of SpaceOAR Hydrogel into the bladder, prostate, rectal wall, rectum, or urethra; local inflammatory reactions; infection; injection of air, fluid or SpaceOAR Hydrogel intravascularly; urinary retention; rectal mucosal damage, ulcers, necrosis; bleeding; constipation; and rectal urgency.

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1. Data on file with Boston Scientific.

2. Mariados N, Sylvester J, Shah D, et al. 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. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Aug 1;92(5):971-7.

3. American Cancer Society. Radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Accessed October 10, 2021.

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CAUTION: The law restricts these devices to sale by or on the order of a physician. Indications, contraindications, warnings, and instructions for use can be found in the product labelling supplied with each device or at www.IFU-BSCI.com. Products shown for INFORMATION purposes only and may not be approved or for sale in certain countries. This material not intended for use in France.

Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.

SpaceOAR Hydrogel is intended to temporarily move the rectal wall away from the prostate during the course of radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer, and in creating this space it is the intent of SpaceOAR Hydrogel to reduce the radiation dose affecting the rectum.

SpaceOAR Hydrogel contains polyethylene glycol (PEG). As with any medical treatment, there are some risks involved with the use of SpaceOAR Hydrogel. Potential complications associated with SpaceOAR Hydrogel include, but are not limited to: pain associated with injection, pain or discomfort from the hydrogel, site inflammation, infection (including abscess), inability to urinate, urgent need to urinate, constipation, rectal muscle spasm, damage to lining of rectum, ulcers, fistula (a hole between rectum and bladder, urethra, or skin below the scrotum), perforation (hole in prostate, bladder, urethra, rectum), necrosis (dead tissue), allergic reaction (local reaction or more severe reaction, such as anaphylaxis), embolism (blood vessel blockage is possible and may happen outside of the pelvis, potentially impacting vital organs or legs), fainting, and bleeding. Please talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits related to using SpaceOAR Hydrogel. If one or more of these complications occur, you may need medical treatment or surgery. URO-1288805-AA

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