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Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy in Japan

Improving QOL for Men undergoing Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy in Japan

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An Update From Stephen McGill, Vice President and General Manager International.

I am delighted that SpaceOAR hydrogel is now available through the MHLW national reimbursement programme for all men undergoing prostate cancer radiotherapy treatment throughout Japan. I truly believe the commitment of the Japanese MHLW to reimburse SpaceOAR is a substantial leap forward to improving radiotherapy outcomes and reducing the associated risks.


Throughout Japan, more than 86,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, with more than 30,000 receiving some form of radiation therapy. Many patients are successfully treated with various forms of radiotherapy such as external beam, proton therapy and brachytherapy. Unfortunately, there are still men suffering from radiation damage to the organs surrounding the prostate, causing them unnecessary and life-changing side effects including acute rectal pain, rectal bleeding, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. This is why I’m so excited about the benefits of creating space between the prostate and the rectum for men undergoing radiation treatment. Even in the modern era of more precise dose delivery options such as, IMRT, optimised planning and a better understanding of patient stabilisation, a little bit of space has been shown to make a big difference.

I’m particularly proud of the fact that SpaceOAR is clinically proven with over 60 published papers and a randomised control trial with 37 months follow up. Showing the clear benefits of preventing injury to the surrounding organs, and more importantly making a real difference to men’s lives.

It is my personal goal to be able to provide global access to SpaceOAR hydrogel, a minimally invasive intervention, that significantly benefits patients by reducing the side effects of radiation exposure. The opening of our new Augmenix K.K. headquarters and the successful recently introduced reimbursement are positive steps in that direction, but there are still many men around the world who would truly benefit from SpaceOAR.

SpaceOAR hydrogel is available nationally in Japan beginning June 25th, 2018 under the Reimbursement Category: ‘200 Bio-absorbable material for Radiation Therapy’.