Narrator: This is Science Today. A technological innovation called 3-dimensional conformal radiation is helping doctors at the University of California, San Francisco effectively treat prostate cancer. Dr. Mack Roach III says this technology allows doctors to be selective about where they place radioactive pellets during a procedure called radiation seed therapy.
Roach: We can reconstruct anatomy in three dimensions in a computer and then we can, in a customized fashion, design blocks that will allow us to radiate what we want to radiate and avoid what we want to avoid.
Narrator: Roach likens the imaging of 3D conformal radiation to the fabled x-ray vision of Superman.
Roach: When we reconstruct someone's anatomy in three dimensions in a computer, we can generate something called a beam's eye view, which means we can actually look through the patient's body, we can identify the target and then we can develop a field to deliver radiation to that target.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.