As of January 1, 2018, a new technology called SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel is now a covered procedure by Medicare. This product helps to protect the rectum from unintended damage during radiation therapy for prostate cancer. SpaceOAR™ is a gel that is placed through a needle in between the prostate and rectum before starting prostate radiation treatments to create a barrier in between the two organs. The gel has been shown to reduce rectal radiation doses by 70% and resulted in similar reductions in clinical rectal symptoms. Interestingly, there is also evidence that SpaceOAR™ can also reduce urinary and erectile problems caused by radiation therapy. After placement, the gel is stable for about 6 months, and then is simply resorbed by the body so there is no need to remove it. This technology was approved by the FDA several years ago, but until now has been an out-of-pocket expense.
To learn more about this topic, click on this link http://www.peninsulacancercenter.com/augmenix-spaceoar-gel-for-prostate-patients/ .
Also, Dr. Hsi was recently featured on King 5 TV’s New Day Northwest discussing SpaceOAR™. To view the video, click on this link http://www.king5.com/article/entertainment/television/programs/new-day-northwest/new-treatment-for-men-with-prostate-cancer-reduces-complications-from-radiation-therapy/281-537100721