Published on January 14, 2020

MaineGeneral first in Maine to offer new pre-treatment for patients receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer

One in nine men will be impacted by prostate cancer in their lifetime. For many of those who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, radiation therapy will be part of their treatment plan.

MaineGeneral is now the first medical center in Maine to offer a pre-treatment option to reduce or eliminate one of the side effects of radiation treatment.

Called SpaceOAR™, the treatment creates space between the tissues of the prostate being irradiated and the rectum, limiting the exposure and potential damage to healthy rectal tissue.

"We’re excited to be able to have this option that reduces negative effects of radiation treatment for prostate cancer patients," said Barbara Wiggin, manager of oncology services at MaineGeneral’s Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta.

SpaceOAR™ is a gel placed between the prostate and rectum at any time before radiation therapy. It creates a cushioning layer between the two so the rectum is moved away from where the radiation is targeted.

“Placement of the gel is a quick, non-invasive procedure,” Wiggin said. “It protects the rectum during radiation and, in about six months, is naturally absorbed into the body. The peace of mind about reducing complications is valuable for patients."

"MaineGeneral is always looking to bring state-of-the-art, minimally invasive techniques to our patients to give them the best care and experience," she added.

Learn more about the services offered to cancer patients at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care