Baptist Health

April 14, 2017 13:18 ET

Miami Cancer Institute First in South Florida to Offer Gel Injections to Protect Sensitive Areas in Prostate Cancer Patients During Radiation Therapy

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - April 14, 2017) -

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Marcio Fagundes, M.D., medical director of radiation oncology at Miami Cancer Institute, is the first in South Florida to provide a procedure that protects delicate tissue surrounding the prostate during radiation treatment.

"Because the prostate and the rectum are located in close proximity, there is a risk that the rectum could be damaged by radiation. When we protect the rectum we can also safely deliver a higher radiation dose, if necessary, to the prostate to kill the cancer cells. The procedure is 99 percent effective in eliminating radiation-induced injury," Dr. Fagundes said.

Dr. Fagundes was the first to be trained to use SpaceOAR (Organs at Risk) hydrogel, which was approved by the FDA in 2015 for injection between the rectum and the prostate to act as a shield from radiation. The gel-like material remains in the body for several months, providing protection during the course of radiation treatment. Within six months, it is absorbed by the body. Dr. Fagundes has performed more than 300 procedures and trains other physicians in its use.

The first patient to be treated with the gel at Miami Cancer Institute is from the Cayman Islands and specifically chose the Institute for his radiation treatments to take advantage of Dr. Fagundes' expertise with the technology. Conventional radiation therapy is the standard treatment for men with prostate cancer that hasn't spread to other organs and tissues.

When Miami Cancer Institute's Proton Therapy Center is scheduled to open late this summer, the ideal treatment for prostate cancer patients will be available: the gel, in combination with the precision targeting of proton therapy.

About Miami Cancer Institute

Baptist Health South Florida is developing Miami Cancer Institute into a destination cancer center known for its leading clinical care, exceptional patient experience, advanced clinical research and state-of-the-art technology -- including the first proton therapy center in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. To accelerate its mission of hope, caring and innovation, Miami Cancer Institute has joined the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, a meaningful relationship that enables patients with cancer access to potential breakthrough therapies in South Florida. For more information, visit

Miami Cancer Institute is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with seven hospitals (Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children's Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, South Miami Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital), nearly 50 outpatient and urgent care facilities, Baptist Health Medical Group, Baptist Health Quality Network and internationally renowned centers of excellence. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to our faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has approximately 16,000 employees and 2,300 affiliated physicians. Baptist Health South Florida has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram @BaptistHealthSF.

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