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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Can Angiogenesis be the Answer? Great Must Watch Ted Talk discussing a New Way of Treating Cancer

Ample amounts of research are taking place right now looking at the role of angiogenesis on cancer. According to top researchers, almost 70 diseases are caused by abnormal angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the formation of blood vessels and is critical for cancer cells to be able to move throughout the body and grow. In this excellent TED talk, Dr. William Li discusses his belief that certain foods have anti-angiogenic  properties that can help us keep cancer away from an early age before it becomes too late. Furthermore, he shows that cocktails of anti-angiogenic drugs can actually help stop tumors from growing and can physically cause existing tumors to disappear. I like this approach because it is a very straightforward method to solving cancer and it can be applied to everyone. For example, even third world countries can focus on growing crops that can help their people sustain a better quality of life. Personally, I think people like numerical and specific measurements when deciding what actions they will take. That’s why, I believe the index showing anti-angiogenic properties will be an excellent tool to helping people in the fight against cancer. While many people may think that this index is very similar to the idea of counting calories while eating; I would beg to differ. I believe people will be much more inclined to follow a system that embodies a guide to foods that have been specifically shown to fight certain cancers. If researchers can show what specific foods can help target specific cancers, I believe people will change their mentality and begin eating a healthier and more balanced diet. The link for the Ted Talk is right below. Please check it out and learn something new. Must Watch Ted Talk for anyone interested in Cancer


Rafe Furst said...

I agree with you 100% about this being a good lens to help people see the value of nutrition in preventing/fighting cancer.

I would caution anyone to get the wrong message from the angiogenesis theory that it somehow is a magic bullet. Cancer is an evolutionary system and as such finds ways to grow without angiogenesis. You choke off any one functional pathway and it can route around.

The reason nutrition IS so important is because it sets the environment under which cancer evolution is possible (or not).

David Farzam said...

I agree with you that prevention from an early age is the best way to control cancer growing in our bodies. Also, your correct that angiogensis is not a magic bullet. Cancer is multidimensional and can find ways around blocking angiogenesis. However, I do think it would be good to research the anti-angiogenic drugs in order to see if they can hold off cancer for a short period of time and give cancer patients a better chance at living longer. Unfortunately, overtime cancer will evolve a mechanism around angiogenesis as you said and if not some other form of disease will be able to present itself and cause our deaths.

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