Treating patients with SpaceOAR® Hydrogel

We offer SpaceOAR® Hydrogel free of charge as part of our standard pre-radiotherapy treatment for men with prostate cancer.


We design our care to help give patients the best possible life outcomes. Which is why we offer SpaceOAR® Hydrogel as part of our standard pre‑radiotherapy treatment, at no extra cost.

What is SpaceOAR® Hydrogel?

SpaceOAR® Hydrogel is an absorbable, water based soft gel implant. It has been designed to reduce radiation exposure to healthy organs and tissue surrounding the prostate.

It helps reduce the potential short and long-term side effects from radiotherapy, such as; rectal bleeding, bowel leakage, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction.

How does it work?

SpaceOAR® Hydrogel creates space between the prostate gland and rectum, enabling a more accurately targeted radiation dose to the prostate while avoiding unnecessary radiation to the normal tissue.

Clinically tested, reviewed and approved

In a prospective multi-centre, randomised clinical trial across 20 sites in the US involving 222 patients with prostate cancer (randomised 2:1, spacer vs control) spacer placement accuracy was reported in 99% of patients in the spacer group2.

Studies of SpaceOAR® Hydrogel have appeared in more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and more than 35,000 men have already undergone the procedure worldwide.

SpaceOAR® Hydrogel has received positive NICE guidance.

What are the benefits?

In a randomised clinical trial, at a median three-year follow-up, SpaceOAR® Hydrogel patients experienced reduced side-effects from prostate cancer radiation, including:

  • 78% more likely to retain sexual function 3***
  • 74% relative reduction in rectal V70 1*
  • 66% fewer clinically significant declines in urinary QOL 2**
  • 0% Late Grade 2 or higher rectal toxicity 2

How is SpaceOAR® Hydrogel implanted?

Implanting SpaceOAR® Hydrogel is a minimally invasive procedure that takes around 30 minutes.

Our urologists use a needle to insert the gel between the prostate and the rectum using an ultrasound guided transperineal approach. The water-soluble gel stays in position during the radiotherapy treatment cycle (four to seven weeks) then naturally biodegrades to be absorbed by the body over three months.

The procedure is performed at one of our national partner hospitals as a day case by urologists in the GenesisCare network. We have a national network of partner hospitals and also work in partnership with Nuffield Health, the largest not-for-profit UK healthcare organisation, to offer your patients the nearest local hospital for their procedure.

They’ll receive their radiotherapy at their local GenesisCare centre.

How to refer a patient

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1 Mariados, N. et al. 2015. Hydrogel Spacer Prospective Multicenter Randomized Controlled Pivotal Trial: Dosimetric and Clinical Effects of Perirectal Spacer Application in Men Undergoing Prostate Image Guided Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy. International Journal of Radiation Oncology biology physics. 92(5), pp. 971 – 977.

2 Hamstra, D. et al. 2017. Continued Benefit to Rectal Separation for Prostate Radiation Therapy: Final Results of a Phase III Trial Hamstra, Daniel A et al International Journal of Radiation Oncology. Practical Radiation Oncology. 97(5), pp. 976 – 985.

3 Hamstra, D. et al. 2018. Sexual quality of life following prostate intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a rectal/prostate spacer: Secondary analysis of a phase 3 trial. Practical Radiation Oncology. 8(1), pp. 7 – 15.

* average reduction when comparing pre and post-spacer treatment plans.
** defined as 2x the minimally important difference compared to control patients.
*** defined as erections sufficient for intercourse compared to control patients.