Tampa General Hospital and its Florida urology partners are the first in the nation to deliver a breakthrough procedure to protect prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy



Tampa General announces a new FDA-approved procedure that helps spare healthy tissue when administering curative radiation therapy.

TAMPA, Florida., October 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Tampa General Hospital (TGH), in partnership with Florida Urology Partnersare the first in the United States to deliver next-generation technology that recently received 510(k) clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Tampa General Hospital and Florida Urology Partners are the first in the nation to offer a breakthrough procedure to protect prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

Barrigel is an injectable, flexible and biodegradable material that provides a barrier between the prostate and rectum to protect healthy tissue during radiation therapy treatment for prostate cancer. It stays in place for the duration of radiation therapy and dissolves safely in about three months.

“This is a game-changer,” said Dr Raviender Bukkapatnam, head of the Tampa General Institute of Urology. “The goal of radiation therapy is to cure cancer non-invasively, and this device helps us protect areas of healthy tissue around the prostate when giving curative radiation therapy. It’s the next big thing. step in cancer care.”

dr. Alexander EngelmanDirector of Radiation Oncology at Florida Urology Partners and Radiation Oncologist at TGH Cancer Institute, is the first in the United States to perform the procedure after FDA clearance. dr. Jean-David, assistant professor and director of brachytherapy and radiopharmaceutical services at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and radiation oncologist at Tampa General, will perform the Barrigel procedure in the near future. At Tampa General and Florida Urology Partners, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.

Injected as a gel into the body, Barrigel blocks radiation from entering the rectum, reducing potential damage and side effects. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis in less than 30 minutes and is covered by most insurance plans. The new implant could benefit many of the estimated 268,000 men in United States an annual diagnosis of prostate cancer and who will be treated with radiotherapy.

“Barrigel allows us to maximize the opportunity for a cure while minimizing side effects,” Engelman said. “This leads to the opportunity for a better recovery and healing experience for the patient. Tampa sole principal investigator of the site for the national Barrigel clinical trial.

“As a next-generation technology, it can help prostate cancer patients achieve a better quality of life,” David said. “Patients can quickly resume their current daily activities.”

“Being the first in the country to deliver such an innovative approach that can dramatically improve patient care is the kind of advancement we envisioned when we launched The Cancer Institute in April 2021,” said Dr. Eduardo Sotomayor, director of the TGH Cancer Institute. “Barrigel is just another example of how we envision innovative and compassionate care.”

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men United States and kills more than 35,000 people each year. The majority survive with proven treatments, including radiation therapy. However, the negative side effects of radiation exposure can affect the quality of life of these patients. Barrigel could change the equation, said Dr. Richard Tuliprofessor and chair of radiation oncology at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and associate director of the TGH Cancer Institute.

“We’re embracing advanced technologies that were unthinkable a decade ago. Barrigel can be sculpted for a custom fit to each patient’s anatomy for optimal protection,” Tuli said. “It flexes with body movements after the treatment period and is fully absorbed by the body. It really is a breakthrough in radiation oncology.”

For more information about Tampa General’s Urology and Cancer Services, visit TGH Institute of Urology and TGH Cancer Institute.

Tampa General Hospital, a 1,040-bed nonprofit academic medical center, is one of America’s largest hospitals and provides world-class care as the region’s only trauma center. level I and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest ranked hospital in the market in US News and World Reports 2022-23 Best Hospitals, and is tied as the third highest ranked hospital in Floridawith seven specialties ranked among the best programs of United States. Tampa General Hospital has been named a Model of Excellence by the List of Top 100 Fortune/Merative Hospitals 2022. The University Medical Center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious Forbes magazine rankings – the first nationally in 2022 America’s Best Employers for Women and sixth on Florida’s 100 Companies in 2022 America’s Top Employers by State. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2020 provided net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and the primary teaching hospital for USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports seriously injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General is home to a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed neuroscience and critical care unit is the largest on the west coast of Florida. It also houses the 82-bed Jennifer Leigh Muma Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group primary care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 21 Tower-powered TGH imaging outpatient radiology centers across Hillsborough, Not co, pinelles and palm beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in certain regions thanks to TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the nation, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that provides real-time situational awareness to improve and better coordinate patient care at lower cost. For more information, visit https://www.tgh.org.

Media Contact: Beth HardyAPR
Senior Communications Specialist
(813) 844-7322 (direct)
(727) 510-6363 (cell)
[email protected]

Tampa General Hospital logo.  (PRNewsFoto/Tampa General Hospital)

Tampa General Hospital logo. (PRNewsFoto/Tampa General Hospital)



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