New Hydrogel May Reduce Adverse Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

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Prostate cancer specialist Dr. Kia Michel discusses a promising new hydrogel that has been developed to prevent collateral damage caused by prostate cancer treatments.

Kia Michel, MD - Board Certified Urologist

Kia Michel, MD - Board Certified Urologist

"It is encouraging to see a product that could make post-treatment quality of life significantly easier,” said Dr. Michel.

Prostate cancer treatments have come such a long way in the past few decades that a cancer diagnosis does not automatically equal a death sentence. Surgery and radiation therapy have proven to be highly effective at destroying prostate cancer; however, both methods can cause significant collateral damage to the surrounding tissues and structures. A new hydrogel called SpaceOAR developed during a 15-month clinical-trial study may just be the solution for preventing the painful side effects of prostate cancer radiation.

“While it is possible to cure prostate cancer, particularly when diagnosed early, one of the most unfortunate aspects of even the most effective treatments is that a patient's quality of life may be mitigated by uncomfortable side effects,” said director of Prostate Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles, Dr. Kia Michel. “We make it a point to avoid over-treating our patients for that very reason, but we look forward to seeing how well the new hydrogel can preserve a patient's healthy tissue and normal body function.”

The hydrogel, which is a natural substance that is used as a “spacer” to block the effects of radiation on the rectum and other nearby healthy tissues, is injected between the prostate and rectum where it will eventually liquefy and exit the body with the patient's urine after three months.

“Patients are already wary about prostate cancer screenings, let alone the effects of radiation and surgery if they are diagnosed with cancer, so it is encouraging to see a product that could make post-treatment quality of life significantly easier,” added Dr. Michel.

SpaceOAR not only helps protect patients' bowel function from radiation, but it has also allowed patients to stand stronger rectal-radiation dosages, resulting in quicker cancer-cell kill rates and less treatments overall.

“We are excited to see so many advancements in cancer treatments in just the past few years,” said Dr. Michel, “It is not only encouraging for patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, but it also inspires more men to take a proactive approach and get screened for prostate cancer in general.”

Dr. Michel graduated from Whitman College where he was a Presidential Scholar for four years before attending the University of Washington School of Medicine, where he graduated with Honors and was recognized by the National Medical Honor Society (AOA). Dr. Michel then completed a prestigious six-year residency program in Urologic Surgery at UCLA, where he was recognized as a Pfizer scholar in Urology. After residency, Dr. Michel completed a fellowship in Urological Oncology and advanced surgical techniques also at UCLA. During his fellowship, Dr. Michel’s efforts were recognized by the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Foundation for Urologic Disease.

The Prostate Cancer Specialists of Los Angeles Center is an outpatient urological facility located in the heart of Beverly Hills. The physicians at Prostate Cancer Specialists of Los Angeles Center are board-certified urologists with specialty training in a number of different aspects of urology and provide tailored care for their patients with outstanding results. Call them today at (310) 341-2557 or visit their website:http://

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