Proton beam therapy is an advanced form of external radiotherapy that uses high-energy proton beams instead of photon x-ray beams or electrons. Carefully measured doses of protons are delivered to the precise area needing treatment, using the latest IBA ProteusONE technology. This ensures that the delivery of proton beam therapy is highly accurate and prevents the risk of radiation reaching surrounding healthy tissue.
The radiotherapy treatment comes from an electrical machine called a ‘Linear accelerator’ and is directed as a beam to the part of the body that needs to be treated. Treatment is given daily over a period of days or weeks and you may hear people call these treatments ‘fractions’. They are just a fraction of your treatment dose and plan.
Chemotherapy at the Rutherford takes place in our modern therapy suites, consisting of up to ten treatment areas offering treatment for haematology/oncology patients requiring systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT) and supportive care in an outpatient setting. The infusion therapy suites are available for patients undergoing treatment for breast, urology, upper and lower gastrointestinal cancers, and both malignant and non-malignant haematology disorders.
As part of your radiotherapy treatment (including proton beam therapy and radiotherapy), the Rutherford Cancer Centres can offer the BioProtect ProSpace Balloon Spacer to assist treatment and deliver the best possible results for patients being treated for prostate cancer.
What is a BioProtect Spacer?
In precision radiotherapy, spacers can be used to protect vital organs and healthy tissue that are in close proximity to the treatment area, that would otherwise be risk of being exposed to an unintended radiation dose.
The spacer is a very small balloon, which after deployment pushes healthy tissue away from the high-dose of radiation used to target cancerous cells, helping to prevent and reduce potential side-effects. The balloon maintains its size and shape and naturally biodegrades in the body after the course of treatment. Radiotherapy technology improve treatment accuracy and effectiveness, the addition of a balloon spacer can further help to deliver the best possible results for your prostate cancer treatment.
A spacer can also help to support radiation dose delivery when undergoing a Seven-Fraction treatment schedule (sometimes also known as ‘hypofractionation’ – a higher dose radiation treatment delivered over less sessions or appointments).
How is BioProtect Spacerdelivered?
Deploying the BioProtect Spacer via the rectum is a quick and minimally invasive procedure.
Under ultrasound guidance our urologists use a unique two-part deployment device to insert the balloon spacer into the correct position, usually between the prostate and the rectum. This deployment system gives our urologist precise control over the position of the balloon and ensures optimal protection of the healthy tissues. This procedure takes place under a general or spinal anaesthesia.
Once the balloon spacer is in situ in the body, it is inflated with a sterile saline solution to reach the required size for your precision radiotherapy treatment. The balloon spacer remains inflated during treatment and completely biodegrades in the body after six months, so you can continue to go about your daily life as usual, during and after treatment.The procedure is usually performed at one of our partner hospitals and is an outpatient procedure, so no overnight stay is required.
Is it safe?
BioProtect ProSpace is a clinically proven*, safe and consistent spacer that reduces radiation does to vital organs and healthy tissue, with proven long-term benefits. For more information about the safety and long-term benefits of BioProtect ProSpace, please visit: https://bioprotect.com/research/
The benefits of BioProtect Spacer
With BioProtect Spacer in place, your consultant and treatment team can begin your treatment, with the spacer helping to deliver optimum results and reducing the risks of side-effects:
Creates a space of up to 2cm in the region of the treatment area, ideal for reducing the risk of radiation-related side-effects and protecting healthy surrounding organs and tissue
Complete control over the size of the spacer, which is maintained throughout the course of treatment.
The spacer is highly visible under ultrasound, CT, MRI or any other imaging technology used by the treatment team, so your treatment team have full visibility of the spacer at each treatment session
The unique deployment system significantly reduces any risk of rectal wall injury during the procedure.
The spacer is clinically safe and biodegrades within six months of deployment, so no need for surgical removal.
For further information visit: https://bioprotect.com/patients
Is it suitable for all patients?
BioProtect Spacer can support your prostate cancer treatment and reduce the risks of side-effects compared to when having conventional radiotherapy and proton beam therapy, and not using a spacer. However, a spacer solution isn’t for everyone, so it’s best to seek advice from your consultant on the most appropriate treatment options.
Find out more
Find out more about prostate cancer or to arrange to speak to one of our consultants about your treatment options: