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.

SpaceOAR® Hydrogel

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 routinely performed under local anaesthetic at a number of our outpatient centres as a safe and convenient alternative to having the hydrogel insertion under general anaesthetic within a hospital environment.

We accept referrals for patients receiving prostate radiotherapy treatment within the GenesisCare network, or from patients just wishing to self-fund the hydrogel insertion.

Hydrogel insertion is still available as a day case procedure, performed by urologists within the GenesisCare network at a number of our national partner hospitals, located throughout the UK.

How to refer a patient

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Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 514 1185


300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

+44 (0)1454 642801


Fordham Rd, Newmarket CB8 7XN, UK

+44 (0)1223 633 664


Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 676 351

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

+44 (0)203 613 9355


Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

+44 (0)203 613 9356


BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX

+44 (0)1483 676 898


17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

+44 (0)1732 386 599

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

+44 (0)1908 448 166


The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

+44 (0)1156 762 989


Peters Way, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6LB

+44 (0)1865 224 884


Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

+44 (0)23 9280 0102


Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

+44 (0)238 008 5138


69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

+44 (0)1753 465 493


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.