Royal Oak’s Beaumont Hospital Debuts New Gel To Reduce Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

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Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak has announced that it is now helping its prostate cancer patients with a new gel treatment that can offer protection for at risk organs during radiation treatments.

“Treating prostate cancer with radiation therapy can cause unintended injury to adjacent, healthy tissue, which can lead to bowel and urinary problems, as well as erectile dysfunction,” says Dr. Daniel Krauss, a Beaumont radiation oncologist who specializes in radiotherapy for prostate and bladder cancers.

“There is now a new technique in which a temporary gel is injected through a small needle between the prostate and rectum. The gel pushes the rectum farther from the path of the radiation treatment beam. Harmful rectal doses of radiation can be almost nil.”

The minimally invasive gel technique is now available at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak for men having radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

The absorbable gel, called Space OAR hydrogel, creates a barrier that separates the rectum and prostate to protect the rectum and reduce injury during radiation treatments.

Patients who choose the new gel technique receive a local or general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. The gel is injected as a liquid and then solidifies, remaining in place for three months during prostate radiotherapy. It then liquefies, is absorbed by the body, and cleared in the patient’s urine.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 161,000 American men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.

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