December 15, 2021
What happens when a radiation oncologist with more than three decades of experience treating prostate cancer in his patients receives his own cancer diagnosis? For Dr. James R. Gray, it was unnerving to face questions as a patient instead of as a provider—but luckily, he felt like he could come up with the right answers quickly.
Dr. Gray was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer and had two treatment options given the progression of the disease: surgery or radiation. “I had the same concerns that any patient would have: ‘what are going to be the side effects?’” he recalled.
The goal of radiation therapy is to kill the cancer cells while avoiding damage to surrounding healthy tissue. However, since the prostate is next to the rectum, prostate radiation therapy can unintentionally damage the rectum. Dr. Gray knew that radiation would be the best treatment option in his case—but he was deeply aware of the potential for serious side effects, from erectile dysfunction to chronic diarrhea. “I’ve been treating prostate cancer for a long time,” he said, “and one of the issues we have using radiation is that there are sensitive organs nearby.”
SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel is a pre-treatment option for patients undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The absorbable hydrogel is designed to create a temporary space between the prostate and the rectum, protecting the rectum from radiation exposure. After the procedure, the gel is simply absorbed into the body after a few months.
“When it came to making decisions about my treatment, the only way I would receive radiation was with SpaceOAR Hydrogel,” Dr. Gray continued. “It’s a no-brainer… It’s one of those win-wins that we come across in medicine every once in a while, that allows us to improve our outcomes with very little pain or side effects.”
More information for individuals based in the United States is available here.
As with any medical treatment, there are some risks involved with the use of SpaceOAR Hydrogel. Safety information about SpaceOAR Hydrogel can be found here. Please talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits associated with the SpaceOAR Hydrogel.
Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.