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MVH Introduces a Proven Procedure to Minimize Prostate Cancer Complications

(May 18, 2021 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Monongahela Valley Hospital now offers a proven surgical procedure designed to protect the quality of life for men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer. MVH uses hydrogel SpaceOAR to reduce the radiation dose delivered to the rectum which can cause bowel side effects. The hospital's physicians inject the hydrogel SpaceOAR in the space between the prostate and rectum to temporarily position the rectal wall away from the prostate. Local or general anesthesia is used for the outpatient procedure. The biodegradable hydrogel SpaceOAR maintains the shape for the entire course of the prostate radiotherapy treatment and is completely absorbed by the person's body over a short period of time.

"Not only will the Hydrogel SpaceOAR allow us to reduce the radiation dose to the rectum and reduce side effects, but patients can now be receive a shorter course of radiation therapy making treatments easier for the patient," said Mohsen Isaac, M.D., Monongahela Valley Hospital's medical director of Radiation Oncology.

"Our Regional Cancer Center consistently offers people the latest therapies so that they can receive the highest quality of care in the fastest amount of time close to where they live," explained Louis J. Panza Jr., MVH's president and CEO.

People who choose to have their cancer care at MVH's Charles L. and Rose Sweeney Melenyzer Pavilion and Regional Cancer Center are in the hands of some of the world's most respected oncologists who use advanced medical oncology and radiation treatments. They offer:

  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT): Radiation therapy that manipulates beams of radiation to conform to the shape of the tumor with varying intensities. This type of treatment offers superior conformity to the treatment are while sparing normal tissues.
  • Volumetric Arc Therapy (VMAT): Radiation therapy that uses multiple rotating arcs of IMRT that sweep around the person to dramatically speed the treatment and reduce delivery time from 8-12 minutes to 2-5 minutes.
  • Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT): This type of radiation therapy is used for every patient at MVH. This treatment has 3-D and 4-D real-time imaging and fusion prior to treatment delivery to ensure a precisely tumor targeting radiation treatment of both complex large and small tumors.

"Some people have the impression that they need to travel miles away for cancer care when we have exceptional care right here in the Mon Valley," said Mr. Panza.

Monongahela Valley Hospital's Cancer Program is one of 1,500 cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico accredited by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer.

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