Contact: Molly Brumley

Peninsula Cancer Center First on West Coast to Offer New FDA Approved Spacing Device to Benefit Prostate Cancer Patients

First Patient on West Coast Treated with FDA Approved Rectum-Protecting Spacer

POULSBO, WA (May 5, 2015)—Peninsula Cancer Center is helping to pioneer a new tool that is proven to protect prostate cancer patients from the negative effects of radiation therapy. Upon FDA approval, Peninsula Cancer Center was the first center on the West Coast and one of the first centers nationwide to adopt the advanced technology. On May 5th, Dr. R. Alex Hsi performed the first procedure utilizing SpaceOAR® hydrogel, the first FDA cleared spacing device to protect the rectum in men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The SpaceOAR System is intended to temporarily position the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy for prostate cancer, creating space to protect the rectum from radiation exposure.

“Providing the best possible treatment to patients is our top priority, which is why we are one of the first centers offering SpaceOAR hydrogel,” said Dr. R. Alex Hsi, Radiation Oncologist and co-founder of Peninsula Cancer Center. “Creating space between the prostate and rectum is an important advance that significantly protects the rectum during radiation treatments, and reduces the likelihood of side effects. Men facing prostate cancer may have some difficult decisions to make, but utilizing SpaceOAR hydrogel during radiation therapy is not one of them.”

Because of the close proximity of the prostate to the rectum, prostate radiation therapy typically results in some radiation hitting the rectum, which can sometimes cause side effects. The SpaceOAR System creates space and pushes the rectum away from the prostate and the higher radiation dose area. Placed through a small needle, the hydrogel is administered as a liquid, but quickly solidifies into a soft gel that expands the space between the prostate and rectum. The hydrogel spacer maintains this space until radiotherapy is complete. The spacer then liquefies and is absorbed and cleared from the body in the patient’s urine.

FDA clearance was granted following completion of the SpaceOAR System prospective, multicenter, randomized clinical trial. Dr. Hsi served as a principal investigator for the clinical trial studying the SpaceOARTM System. SpaceOAR patients experienced a significant reduction in rectal radiation dose and severity of late rectal toxicity when compared to control patients who did not receive SpaceOAR hydrogel. The full pivotal clinical trial results have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and are expected to be published soon.

Peninsula Cancer Center provides world class radiation treatment for cancer patients: top doctors, state-of-the-art equipment, the latest research and science and a great support system. They have a first-rate team of radiation oncologists, physicists, dosimetrists, therapists, nurses and front office staff to ensure the best possible cancer care. They have been awarded ACR accreditation by the American College of Radiation, assuring they meet the highest level of quality and radiation safety.
SpaceOar gel pic


SpaceOAR® hydrogel is now available for prostate cancer patients being treated at Peninsula Cancer Center. SpaceOAR hydrogel is a temporary injectable gel that protects the rectum in men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer, decreasing the likelihood of side effects.

 If you or someone you know is interested in this technology, please contact us at 360-697-8000.