The use of hydrogel spacer in men undergoing high-dose prostate cancer radiotherapy: results of a prospective phase 2 clinical trial

Michael Chao, Daryl Lim Joon, Vincent Khoo, Nathan Lawrentschuk, Huong Ho, Sandra Spencer, Yee Chan, Alwin Tan, Trung Pham, Shomik Sengupta, Kevin McMillan, Madalena Liu, George Koufogiannis, Chee Wee Cham, Farshad Foroudi, Damien Bolton

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the degree of prostate to rectal separation using a hydrogel spacer (HS) and its effect on decreasing rectal dose can be reproduced in the community setting. Methods: Thirty one patients with cT1-3aN0M0 prostate adenocarcinoma receiving radical radiotherapy to 78 Gy were recruited to the study. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving at least 25% reduction in volume of rectum receiving 70 Gy (rV70). Other endpoints included degree of prostate to rectum separation, HS insertion-related adverse events and the proportion of patients with grade 1 or worse acute or late gastrointestinal (GI) and genitourinary (GU) toxicity. Results: All patients had successful insertion of their HS with no peri-operative toxicity. The mean prostate–rectal separation achieved was 10.5 mm. Twenty nine (93.5%) patients achieved a reduction in rV70 of at least 25%. Acute grade 1 GI toxicity was reported in 3 patients. All symptoms had resolved by 3 months post RT. Late grade 1 GI toxicity was reported in one patient (3.2%) with bowel frequency occurring at 6 months and resolving by 12 months post RT. There was no grade 2 or 3 acute or late GI toxicity seen. Conclusion: In conclusion, this study illustrates that the application and benefits of HS on reducing GI rectal dose endpoints and toxicities during prostate cancer RT can be reliably replicated in a community setting similar to centres participating in the randomised trial under high quality assurance trial monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1116
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Hydrogel spacer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy

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