Dorcy Cancer Center Pioneers New Tool To Benefit Prostate Cancer Patients

(PUEBLO, COLO.) The Dorcy Cancer Center at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center is one of the first cancer centers nationwide to adopt SpaceOAR hydrogel, a new tool proven to protect prostate cancer patients from the negative effects of radiation therapy. SpaceOAR is the first FDA-cleared spacing device to protect the rectum in men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer helping them maintain their normal activities and lifestyle.

The goal of radiation therapy is to maximize radiation to the tumor while avoiding or minimizing radiation to surrounding normal tissue, said Geoff. Johnson, MD, radiation oncologist. Due to the close proximity, the rectum can be at risk for radiation exposure during treatment. By separating the prostate from the rectum, the SpaceOAR hydrogel reduces radiation exposure and may reduce, or possibly eliminate, damage to the rectum and associated negative side effects.

The SpaceOAR (OAR stands for organ at risk) System is a temporary injectable gel made of non-toxic polyethylene glycol (PEG). It is injected as a liquid that, within seconds, solidifies into a soft, gel-like synthetic material that expands and creates space between the prostate and rectum. SpaceOAR hydrogel can be used with all radiation therapy modalities.

Providing the best possible treatment to patients is the top priority for the entire care team, said John Stageberg, MD, radiation oncologist. The SpaceOAR hydrogel is just one option in the broad spectrum of state-of-the-art services that we offer, including screenings and prevention, early diagnosis and support services, that give patients the best odds at fighting cancer right here close to home.

According to the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men with an estimated 3,600 new cases in Colorado and 430 deaths in 2015 alone. Across the U.S., 220,800 new cases and 27,540 deaths are expected. Worldwide, prostate cancer is expected to grow to 1.7 million new cases and 499,000 deaths by 2030.

For more information about the Dorcy Cancer Center or to learn more about treatment options, please call 719-557-5525 or visit St. Mary-Corwin online.

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About St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center is nationally recognized for its award-winning programs in womens services, orthopedics, cancer, cardiology, stroke, trauma and emergency services. St. Mary-Corwins expert team of physicians, nurses and caregivers provide compassionate, quality patient care, with access to the latest in medical technology. St. Mary-Corwin is part of Centura Health, the regions leading health care network. For more information visit St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center or follow us on Twitter @StMaryCorwin and on Facebook.


Wendi Dammann
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, administrative director, business development
719-557-3814 (desk)
719-251-6541 (cell)