“I'm recovering, if there was anything to recover from.”
When Garret Ihler underwent radiation for his prostate cancer, he was able to skip the usual side effects, thanks to a product called SpaceOAR Hydrogel.
It comes in liquid form and then hardens into a solid gel about ten seconds later.
“The concept of placing the gel is very simple,” said Dr. Alex Hsi of the Peninsula Cancer Center in Poulsbo. “It creates a space between the prostate and the rectum and reduces the radiation dose to the rectum significantly by about 75 percent.”
That appealed to Garret, a former professor of medicine, who had researched all his options.
“I thought this is a no-brainer,” he said.
Think of it as a gel cushion.
“It's mostly water and some polyethylene glycol and it lasts in the body for about six months and then gets reabsorbed,” explained Dr. Hsi.
He was the only West Coast doctor involved in the clinical trials of SpaceOar.
“Patients really can't even tell they've had it. So if they can’t tell, I think that tells you exactly how well it's tolerated,” he said.
Garret's wife Liisa Peterson agrees.
“It is wonderful. No side effects,” she said.
“Just tired from the radiation and that all went away,” added Garret.
"The SpaceOar Hydrogel is an option for patients who are undergoing primary radiation for prostate cancer.