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C. Planting Seeds Of Hope

Narrator: This is Science Today. Doctors at the University of California, San Francisco are successfully treating men with prostate cancer by implanting radioactive Aseeds@ directly into the prostate. Dr. Mack Roach, a radiation and medical oncology expert, says seed therapy has been around about a century.

Roach: Radioactive seed implantation is another form of something that we call Brachy Therapy by which we put a radioactive material directly up against the cancer. 014 We now use better planting plus computers to make sure that we deliver a higher dose to the target and a lower dose to surrounding normal tissue.

Narrator: Roach says Iodine-124 or Palladium-103 pellets are inserted during an outpatient procedure and is less expensive than surgery.

Roach: We're seeing more people who come in and they say, I want a seed implant. We haven't proven that they're superior, but the data that's available today suggests that there does appear to be quite a bit of effectiveness associated with seed implants and the side effects are very moderate.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.