New Prostate Cancer Treatment Receives FDA Approval

April 13, 2015

Sarasota man recounts his treatment success during clinical trial

SARASOTA, Fla. – April 13, 2015 – William Nagler was lucky. He heard the other men as they waited to be treated for prostate cancer. They talked about the discomforts of treatment, the pain and pressure, and sometimes incontinence.

Nagler didn’t experience any of those symptoms. He chose to participate in a clinical trial for the SpaceOAR® System, a new type of spacer that protects the rectum in men undergoing prostate cancer radiation therapy, which was approved by the FDA this month.

“My treatment was so mild and simple,” said Nagler, 61, of Sarasota. “I’m so glad I was selected for the trial.”

Nagler was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012 and after researching his options, elected to get radiation therapy with John Sylvester, M.D., Board Certified Radiation Oncologist with 21st Century Oncology.

Other than infrequent bouts of fatigue, Nagler said he often didn’t feel as if he were battling cancer at all.

Dr. Sylvester used a thin needle to insert SpaceOAR®, which comes out as a liquid but solidifies into a gel that protectively pushes the rectum away from the prostate. After treatment, the gel is absorbed through the body and disposed of as waste.

“It’s a valuable new tool for urologists and radiation oncologists and could be instrumental in advancing prostate cancer radiotherapy protocols,” said Dr. Sylvester, a principal investigator in the SpaceOAR® clinical trial. “Shielding the rectum from radiation may enable higher doses of radiation to improve cancer kill rates, possibly in fewer treatment sessions, which should have substantial patient benefits.”

Nagler, who works in talent recruitment, continues to see Dr. Sylvester for six-month checkups but has had a clean bill of health since he finished treatment in December 2012. He praised Dr. Sylvester’s expertise and communication skills.

“He’s a pioneer,” Nagler said. “He kept me informed every step of the way. I was aware of what I was going through, but it was so much smoother than I could have possibly hoped.

“I really consider myself lucky. You hear so many nightmare stories. You see so many people battling cancer. I was able to live life as usual.”

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About 21st Century Oncology:

21st Century Oncology is the largest global, physician led provider of Integrated Cancer Care services. The company offers a comprehensive range of cancer treatment services, focused on delivering academic quality, cost-effective patient care in personal and convenient settings. As of December 31, 2014, the company operated 181 treatment centers, including 145 centers located in 17 states. The company also operates 36 centers located in six countries in Latin America. The company holds market-leading positions in most of its domestic local markets and abroad.


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