New prostate treatment at the Mater

Long-term side-effects of prostate cancer radiotherapy reduced by new Mater technology

Patients at Mater Private Network undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer are now being offered a new treatment to reduce the side-effects of radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer.

The treatment is an absorbable, injectable implant that creates space between the rectum and prostate in men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer which reduces radiation exposure to the healthy organs nearby, thereby minimising side effects from treatment.

Compared to the previous SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel product, this new clinically-proven, SpaceOAR Vue™ Hydrogel offers enhanced benefits to patient and doctor by improving ease and accuracy of treatment planning. It is designed to help physicians improve accuracy of radiation delivery, minimising the long-term urinary, sexual and bowel side effects, and protecting quality of life for prostate cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

The treatment has now been used in over 100,000 patients worldwide. A multi-year evaluation of the treatment shows it to be safe and effective, with patients who were sexually active at the time of diagnosis also more likely to avoid loss of sexual function after radiotherapy when they received the treatment. Additionally, it is a superior option for patients with implanted metallic devices as they will not need to undergo an MRI.

“We are always looking for ways to protect the surrounding structures during radiation therapy,” said Professor Michelle McNicholas, consultant radiologist at the Mater Private Network.

“While the original SpaceOar was only visible on MRI, the new SpaceOAR Vue™ is visible on CT. This has really been a very good advance for both patient and doctor. Because the new product is visible on CT, the need for the MRI scan is eliminated in most cases, which reduces costs and saves time.

“Furthermore, because the gel is so visible on CT, the radiation oncologist can see all the structures more clearly. That improves accuracy in treatment planning, with obvious benefits in terms of maximising treatment of the prostate safely, while reducing side-effects to other structures. SpaceOAR Vue™ has been fantastic, and anybody who has used it can see the impact in terms of the precision of radiation doses to the patient. Any gains we make in precision result in fewer side effects for the patient.”

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