Hydrogel spacer distribution within the perirectal space in patients undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer: Impact of spacer symmetry on rectal dose reduction and the clinical consequences of hydrogel infiltration into the rectal wall

Benjamin W. Fischer-Valuck, Anupama Chundury, Hiram Gay, Walter Bosch, Jeff Michalski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose Hydrogel prostate-rectum spacers, biomaterials placed between the prostate and rectum, continue to gain interest as a method to reduce or limit rectal dose during dose escalated prostate cancer radiation therapy. Because the spacer is initially injected into the perirectal space as a liquid, the final distribution can vary. The purpose of this study was to evaluate hydrogel spacer (SpaceOAR system) implantation and distribution from a recent prospective randomized control trial and correlate spacer symmetry with rectal dose reduction as well as rectal wall infiltration (RWI) to acute and late toxicity. Methods and materials T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging sets of 149 patients enrolled in a prospective clinical trial who received transperineal spacer injection were assessed for hydrogel spacer midline symmetry and RWI using a semiqualitative scoring system. Symmetry was then correlated to rectal dose reduction using a Student t test (1-tailed, paired), whereas a Fisher exact test was used to correlate RWI with acute and late rectal toxicity. All patients had control treatment plans created before spacer injection. Results Hydrogel spacer was symmetrically placed at midline for 71 (47.7%) patients at the prostate midgland as well as 1 cm superior and inferior to midgland. The remaining 78 (50.9%) patients had some level of asymmetry, with only 2 (1.3%) having far lateral distribution (ie, >2 cm) of hydrogel spacer. As the hydrogel spacer became more asymmetric, the level of rectal dose reduction relative to their control plans decreased. However, all but the most asymmetrical 1.3% had significant rectal dose reduction (P <.05). Rectal wall hydrogel spacer infiltration was seen in 9 (6.0%) patients. There was no correlation between RWI and procedure-related adverse events or acute/late rectal toxicity. Conclusions Significant reduction of rectal dose can still be achieved even in the setting of asymmetric hydrogel spacer placement. RWI does not correlate with patient complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017

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