Scientists have developed a balloon implant that can prevent incontinence, impotence and loss of libido associated with prostate cancer treatment.
Prostate cancer treatment, which uses radiotherapy to destroy the cancerous cells, can harm the healthy tissues surrounding tumours, resulting in these side effects.
The SpaceGuard Balloon is designed to create a space around the prostate and push the healthy tissue away from the radiotherapy site.
The deflated balloon can be inserted next to the prostate, then filled with saline solution to shield the healthy tissue.
Researchers believe the device could help to improve the effectiveness of radiotherapy, as a higher dose of radiation could be delivered without damaging the healthy surrounding tissue.
The SpaceGuard Balloon, developed by Israel-based BioProtectm, is currently being trialled.