Radical Radiotherapy is a common treatment option designed to cure localised prostate cancer. Some of the major side effects are caused by the toxic effect of radiotherapy on the rectum, which is next to the prostate. This can cause rectal bleeding, mucous formation and diarrhoea, as well as much more serious, but very rare complications. The procedure not only reduces the rectal side effects, but may improve urinary and sexual function outcomes after radical radiotherapy.
There is growing evidence that the toxicity of radiotherapy can be greatly reduced by moving the prostate slightly away from the rectum and other structures. This can be achieved by injecting a gel between the two structures before radiotherapy. We use the Space OAR® system shown in the video below. This system is widely used around the world, especially in Australia.
The gel is injected during a short general anaesthetic procedure under ultrasound guidance. It is then reabsorbed by the body over the months following radiotherapy treatment. Complications of the procedure are rare.