What are radiotherapy spacers?
Spacers make radiotherapy safer
Research shows that radiation therapy is better for avoiding urinary incontinence and impotence. The only disadvantage of radiation is related to the exposure of normal tissue to harmful radiation. In prostate cancer the organ at risk is the rectum, which is very close to the prostate. The rectum is often exposed to unwanted radiation, leading to complications of bowel function and injury to the rectum.
The ProSpace balloon spacer creates a temporary space between the rectum and the prostate, pushing the rectum away from harmful radiation.
External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is highly effective in killing prostate cancer cells, but a potential side effect is rectal toxicity due to the proximity of the prostate to the rectum. Rectal toxicity is associated with the following symptoms, which can be short- or long-term:
- Mucus discharge
- Rectal bleeding
- Rectal leaking
- Rectal pain
- Fecal incontinence
- Fecal urgency
Your doctor will make every effort to reduce the risk of rectal toxicity when choosing the radiation dosage and duration, as well as the frequency of the sessions. Another proven method to avoid rectal toxicity is to introduce a spacer that physically distances the rectum from the prostate.
Ask your doctor about the BioProtect Spacer
a safe, easy-to-deploy, biodegradable balloon that prevents rectal toxicity.
The Radiation vs. Toxicity Dilemma
External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is the gold standard treatment for localized prostate cancer patients. Although studies show that higher radiation doses achieve better long-term tumor control, the higher the dose, the more likely that the adjacent rectal tissue will suffer damage. This dilemma also exists with the more recent advances in radiation therapy such as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). Although these methods are more accurate and more effective, parts of the rectal wall are still frequently exposed to high radiation doses.
The BioProtect Balloon Implant
BioProtect’s biodegradable Balloon Implant shifts the rectum away from the prostate, allowing physicians to radiate prostate tumors at the more effective escalated daily doses without damaging healthy rectal tissue. This treatment method might allow your doctor to shorten the overall treatment time.
The balloon implant is deployed into the prostate-rectum interspace in a quick and minimally invasive transperineal technique using a unique insertion device. The procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia, guided by transrectal ultrasound. The procedure might be performed during the fiducial markers implant stage. Once in place, the balloon is inflated with sterile saline to reach its final configuration. The balloon implant remains inflated during the entire treatment period and completely biodegrades in the body after six months.