Major milestone: 250 Australian men receive innovative treatment through Rectal Spacing Compassionate Access Program

New data and FDA approval of Barrigel® demonstrate profound impact of rectal spacing agent on quality of life

Sydney, Australia – The GenesisCare Foundation is delighted to announce a major milestone today, treating its 250th patient through the Rectal Spacing Compassionate Access Program.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men with approximately one in six Australian men being diagnosed in their lifetime.1

Depending on the size and stage of tumour, men with prostate cancer will receive either one or a combination of surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or active surveillance.

‘Spacing’ is an effective technique used to reduce the side effects associated with radiation therapy for men with prostate cancer. The spacer acts as a temporary cushion between the prostate and rectum to protect the rectal wall from receiving radiation therapy dose, and in turn can help reduce side-effects including urinary, bowel and sexual function.

In 2020, the GenesisCare Foundation launched a national Rectal Spacing Compassionate Access Program to allow public, uninsured patients to access the spacing treatment with Barrigel® as part of their radiation therapy.

The GenesisCare Foundation is pleased to announce funding for an additional 250 men to receive access to Barrigel through the compassionate access program.

Previously, many public patients would decline the spacing procedure due to the cost of treatment, placing a substantial emotional and physical burden on patients and their families.

Prostate cancer patient and program recipient, Alan, Gold Coast, said: “I cannot thank the Foundation enough for this program – the quality of life I have thanks to the access provided to this innovate solution was integral to my overall extremely positive outcome.”

GenesisCare Radiation Oncologist, Professor Michael Chao, who specialises in the treatment of prostate cancer, said the GenesisCare Foundation program was truly changing the lives of men and their families living with prostate cancer.

“Following surgery and follow-on treatments, men may experience significant emotional and psychological distress due to altered sexual function, urinary continence and bowel issues.”

“Through the GenesisCare Foundation program, we are able to increase patient access to a treatment that reduces toxicity and improves quality of life while undergoing high dose curative prostate radiation therapy,” said Professor Chao.

The program milestone coincides with the FDA approval of spacing agent, Barrigel,  in the United States, following the release of data confirming the safety and effectiveness of the product in minimising the long-term side effects of prostate radiation therapy.2

The Barrigel Prostate Trial found that 98.5% of men who were treated with Barrigel met the primary endpoint of achieving at least a 25% reduction in radiation to the rectum. Patients who met the primary endpoint averaged an 85% reduction in radiation to the rectum, and Barrigel was proven superior in the reduction of acute and long-term Grade 2+ GI toxicity at 3 and 6 months compared to control.

GenesisCare participating sites enrolled more than half of the patients on the Barrigel Prostate Radiation Trial.

To support more men in accessing this innovative treatment option through the Rectal Spacing Compassionate Access Program, donate to the Foundation today: https://foundation.genesiscare.com/donate

References:

  1. Cancer Australia 2022, Prostate Cancer in Australia statistics, accessed June 2022 < https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/statistics>
  2. Data from Palette Life Sciences 510(k) K220641.

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