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Perirectal hydrogel spacer may lower prostate radiotherapy-induced rectal toxicities

Key clinical point: Perirectal hydrogel spacer placement prior to prostate radiotherapy may be a prudent preventive strategy to reduce radiotherapy-induced rectal complications.

Major finding: Men who received hydrogel spacer received 66% less rectal irradiation (3.5% vs. 10.4%; mean difference, −6.5%; P = .001). The risk ratio (RR) for grade 2 or higher rectal toxic effects in the hydrogel spacer vs. control group was similar in the early follow-up (4.5% vs. 4.1%; RR, 0.82; P = .38) and significantly lower in the late follow-up (1.5% vs. 5.7%; RR, 0.23; P = .05).

Study details: Meta-analyses of 7 studies (1 randomized clinical trial and 6 cohort studies) including 1,011 patients receiving prostate cancer radiotherapy.

Disclosures: The study was supported by Boston Scientific. Dr. Miller reported serving as a consultant for and receiving personal fees from Boston Scientific. Dr. Efstathiou reported conducting this work as a paid consultant for and Dr. Payne reported receiving nonfinancial support from Boston Scientific during the conduct of the study.


Miller LE et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Jun 1. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.8221.