The first BPC patients receive innovative SpaceOAR® implants


Birmingham Prostate Clinic patients have received SpaceOAR® Hydrogel implants, the first innovation in a new partnership created to deliver advanced treatment and care.

SpaceOAR® Hydrogel is a water-based soft gel implant which has been clinically proven to reduce the side-effects of radiotherapy. It works by creating space between the prostate gland and the surrounding area and in so doing, limits harm to healthy tissue.

The first group of four BPC patients have just received their SpaceOAR® Hydrogel implants in a 30-minute day case procedure which takes place at Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital in Leamington Spa. Their radiotherapy will be provided at the dedicated, state-of-the-art GenesisCare Radiotherapy Centre in Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield.

All BPC radiotherapy patients will now receive SpaceOAR® as part of their normal treatment, at no additional cost either to themselves or their insurers.

BPC Clinical Director Alan Doherty commented: “We are extremely pleased to introduce the first SpaceOAR® procedures for our patients. This is the first tangible benefit of our partnership with GenesisCare and with many more will follow through our exciting collaboration.”

In July this year, the Birmingham Prostate Clinic joined the GenesisCare, the largest provider of radiotherapy services in the UK, together with a large international network.

GenesisCare is highly committed to developing services in the West Midlands, including the construction of a new centre of excellence in Edgbaston by the end of 2021. The new centre will provide a holistic patient pathway from cancer diagnostics and treatment.

BPC consultant clinical oncologist Dr Dan Ford will manage the patients’ radiotherapy treatment in Little Aston. Dr Ford commented: “We know the benefits of having a large, multi-disciplinary team at BPC and using all up to date options and techniques options available to improve patient care and outcomes.

“The SpaceOAR® Hydrogel is a really good innovation for patients and we are pleased to introduce it as part of our normal pathway.”

Urologists use a needle to insert the gel between the prostate and the rectum using an ultrasound guided trans-perineal approach. The water-soluble gel stays in position during the radiotherapy treatment cycle (four to seven weeks) then naturally biodegrades before being absorbed by the body over three months.

It helps reduce the potential short and long-term side effects from radiotherapy, such as rectal bleeding, bowel leakage, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction.

Benefits and evidence

In a randomised clinical trial, at a median three-year follow-up, SpaceOAR® Hydrogel patients experienced reduced side-effects from prostate cancer radiation, including:

  • 78% more likely to retain sexual function
  • 74% of patients had a reduction in the volume of the rectum receiving a high dose of radiation
  • 66% of patients had a reduction in the rate of significant urinary side effects
  • No patients had significant long term bowel side effects