Provision medical director speaks at ASTRO on benefits of SpaceOAR gel product


Knoxville, TN (Oct. 19, 2015)—ASTRO Booth #250—Marcio Fagundes, M.D., medical director of Provision Center for Proton Therapy, will speak today in San Antonio, Texas, at the 57th annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) on the results of using a product that helps protect prostate cancer patients from radiation exposure.

Six months after being the first proton therapy center to use SpaceOAR, more than 100 Provision patients have received the spacer, which fills the gap between the prostate and rectal wall, protecting the rectum from any minimal radiation exposure that may be incurred during treatment.

The injection replaces the familiar balloon once inserted into the rectum of men before being treated for prostate cancer. The one-time gel injection prevents irritation and injury that can occur with the daily balloon placement in addition to preventing longer-term impacts of treatment such as prostatitis. Following treatment, the gel simply is absorbed into the body and discharged in the patient’s urine.

Manufactured by Augmenix, Inc., SpaceOAR is the first product in the United States FDA-approved to protect the rectum in men undergoing prostate cancer radiotherapy. Provision Center for Proton Therapy began using SpaceOAR just a week after FDA approval. Provision now serves as a training center where the product manufacturer, Augmenix, brings physicians from other centers to learn the injection technique.

“We were the first center, and I was the first physician to be certified to use SpaceOAR in external beam therapy, once the product was released by the FDA” said Fagundes, a board certified radiation oncologist. “We were a pioneer in introducing this and it has proven to be highly effective for our patients.”

Seventy-year-old Frank Potts from Columbia, SC, the 100th patient to receive the spacer, said he was pleased Provision is using the hydrogel in lieu of the daily balloon procedure.

“I’m really, really pleased with the spacer,” Potts said. “I’ve had no discomfort, no problems. And to the extent that it’s a medical improvement over the balloon, I can’t imagine not doing it.”

About Provision Center for Proton Therapy

Provision Center for Proton Therapy is the first cancer treatment center of its kind in Tennessee and only the third in the Southeastern United States.  Open to all credentialed physicians and health systems in the region, the Provision Center for Proton Therapy has three treatment rooms and is able to treat up to 900 cancer patients annually. The center utilizes intensity modulated pencil beam scanning, the most accurate proton beam therapy in the world. This advanced cancer treatment capability is available in only a handful of cities. Provision Center for Proton Therapy is one of only 17 proton therapy centers in the nation and 50 in the world.