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Jefferson radiation oncologists use real-time system to plant 'seeds' against cancer
Date:9/23/2007

(PHILADELPHIA) Radiation oncologists and urologists at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia have begun using a real-time system to implant radiation-emitting seeds in prostate cancer patients. While the system, which is made by Nucletron, a technology company based in The Netherlands, is only being used for imaging and planning purposes so far, it ultimately will help with the actual placement of the seeds. To date, Jefferson is the first medical center in the Delaware Valley to begin employing the new system.

The multidisciplinary team of urologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, radiation physicists and others involved in using the device are hoping that the new federal Food and Drug Administration-approved technology will make an already good system even better, adding scientific precision to a treatment that currently relies mainly on physician experience and skill.

The device is a step above the traditional technique because it makes use of a more sophisticated approach that allows for a coordinated, real-time imaging-based implantation of seeds, Richard Valicenti, M.D., associate professor of radiation oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, says about the Nucletron device.

Patients have two options for treatment for localized, low-risk prostate cancer confined to the prostate: surgery or radiation therapy. In brachytherapy, tiny pellets seeds about the size of a grain of rice blanket the prostate, giving off radiation that travels only a few millimeters to kill nearby cancer cells. The seeds are carefully placed inside the cancerous tissue and positioned to efficiently attack the cancer. Brachytherapy has been proven to be very effective and safe, providing a good alternative to surgical removal of the prostate, while reducing the risk of certain long-term side effects, such as impotence. The seed radioactivity decays w
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Contact: Steve Benowitz
steven.benowitz@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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