Published on July 09, 2019

NMMC Announces Use of SpaceOAR® Hydrogel for Prostate Cancer Radiation

TUPELO, Miss.—North Mississippi Medical Center recently became the first in north Mississippi to offer a new technology for men choosing to undergo radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The new addition, SpaceOAR hydrogel, is a protective spacer between the prostate and the rectum. It has been clinically proven to reduce the risk of side effects during and after radiation treatment.

Radiation therapy is a common and effective first-line treatment for prostate cancer. However, side effects can negatively impact a patient’s quality of life.

SpaceOAR is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure performed by a urologist before radiation treatments begin.

“We want to treat the whole patient, not just their cancer,” said NMMC urologist Dr. Stephen Farmer. “Many times prostate cancer can be cured, but what is that patient’s life going to look like afterward? This simple procedure is leading to much better quality of life for our patients.”

In April 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared SpaceOAR hydrogel. In a prospective, randomized, multi-center clinical trial in the United States, patients treated with SpaceOAR hydrogel prior to prostate cancer radiation treatment demonstrated bowel, urinary and sexual benefits through a median of three years of follow-up. The study found that the patients who did not receive SpaceOAR hydrogel experienced a clinically significant decline in bowel, urinary and sexual quality of life eight times more often than patients who received SpaceOAR hydrogel.

The procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia, and patients can immediately resume their normal activities. The gel stays in place for approximately three months and is then naturally absorbed and cleared in the urine in about six months.

NMMC offers radiation oncology in Tupelo and Starkville.

For more information, on urology procedures, call (662) 377-7100. For more information on radiation oncology services, call (662) 377-4077. For more information on SpaceOAR, visit

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