Continued Benefit to Rectal Separation for Prostate Radiation Therapy: Final Results of a Phase III Trial

Daniel A. Hamstra, Neil Mariados, John Sylvester, Dhiren Shah, Lawrence Karsh, Richard Hudes, David Beyer, Steven Kurtzman, Jeffrey Bogart, R. Alex Hsi, Michael Kos, Rodney Ellis, Mark Logsdon, Shawn Zimberg, Kevin Forsythe, Hong Zhang, Edward Soffen, Patrick Francke, Constantine Mantz, Peter RossiTheodore DeWeese, Stephanie Daignault-Newton, Benjamin W. Fischer-Valuck, Anupama Chundury, Hiram Gay, Walter Bosch, Jeff Michalski

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258 Scopus citations


Purpose SpaceOAR, a Food and Drug Administration–approved hydrogel intended to create a rectal–prostate space, was evaluated in a single-blind phase III trial of image guided intensity modulated radiation therapy. A total of 222 men were randomized 2:1 to the spacer or control group and received 79.2 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions to the prostate with or without the seminal vesicles. The present study reports the final results with a median follow-up period of 3 years. Methods and Materials Cumulative (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0) toxicity was evaluated using the log-rank test. Quality of life (QOL) was examined using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC), and the mean changes from baseline in the EPIC domains were tested using repeated measures models. The proportions of men with minimally important differences (MIDs) in each domain were tested using repeated measures logistic models with prespecified thresholds. Results The 3-year incidence of grade ≥1 (9.2% vs 2.0%; P=.028) and grade ≥2 (5.7% vs 0%; P=.012) rectal toxicity favored the spacer arm. Grade ≥1 urinary incontinence was also lower in the spacer arm (15% vs 4%; P=.046), with no difference in grade ≥2 urinary toxicity (7% vs 7%; P=0.7). From 6 months onward, bowel QOL consistently favored the spacer group (P=.002), with the difference at 3 years (5.8 points; P<.05) meeting the threshold for a MID. The control group had a 3.9-point greater decline in urinary QOL compared with the spacer group at 3 years (P<.05), but the difference did not meet the MID threshold. At 3 years, more men in the control group than in the spacer group had experienced a MID decline in bowel QOL (41% vs 14%; P=.002) and urinary QOL (30% vs 17%; P=.04). Furthermore, the control group were also more likely to have experienced large declines (twice the MID) in bowel QOL (21% vs 5%; P=.02) and urinary QOL (23% vs 8%; P=.02). Conclusions The benefit of a hydrogel spacer in reducing the rectal dose, toxicity, and QOL declines after image guided intensity modulated radiation therapy for prostate cancer was maintained or increased with a longer follow-up period, providing stronger evidence for the benefit of hydrogel spacer use in prostate radiation therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-985
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


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