Improving outcomes for prostate cancer patients

16 November 2022

The Wesley Hospital has partnered with GenesisCare to offer improved radiation therapy for prostate cancer patients who don’t have private health insurance.

For patients receiving prostate cancer radiation therapy, a spacer can be used to separate the prostate from the rectum reducing radiation toxicity.

The first patient recently underwent the procedure at The Wesley Hospital under the care of Urologist, Dr Boon Kua. “Evidence shows that these patients have reduced rectal toxicity and better quality of life outcomes following the procedure,” said Dr Kua.

Currently, spacing procedures and rectal spacer products are only funded for privately insured patients, and the cost for uninsured patients can be costly, meaning they don’t access this important procedure.

This compassionate program will make it possible for uninsured patients to get the rectal spacer procedure at The Wesley Hospital followed by a radiation therapy treatment package at GenesisCare.

Dr Kua explained the rectal spacer procedure involves the use of a hyaluronic acid spacing agent called Barrigel®. Barrigel is injected through a needle into the space between the prostate and the rectum to temporarily separate the two organs.

“This temporary space pushes the rectum away from the prostate, which reduced the radiation dose to the anterior part of the rectum. As a result, rectal dose and toxicity is reduced,” Dr Kua said.

As Barrigel is a soft gel, a patient will commonly not feel any different after the procedure and can go about their normal daily activities. Barrigel remains stable for nine months before slowly breaking down and clearing from the body over time.

GenesisCare Medical Director Dr Tuan Ha said the GenesisCare Foundation is also supporting the program by providing the rectal spacing agent, Barrigel, at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient.

“GenesisCare and The Wesley Hospital are proud to be part of a program that provides a service that improves access and reduces treatment effects for men with prostate cancer,” Dr Ha said.

For further information please reach out to one of the GenesisCare Radiation Oncologists at The Wesley: 07 3377 4200

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