Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels and is controlled by chemicals in the body. New blood vessels “feed” cells in our body with oxygen and nutrients, allowing these cells to grow. Those cells include good ones, e.g. healing a cut on the skin, and bad ones, e.g. cancer/tumor cells and fat tissues.
The most exciting thing is that angiogenesis can be controlled by certain chemicals produced in the body. Some of these chemicals stimulate angiogenesis, and other chemicals, called angiogenesis inhibitors, signal the process to stop. Angiogenesis inhibitors may not necessarily kill tumors, but instead may keep tumors stable.
When cancer cells have started growing and spreading, angiogenesis inhibitor therapy will only be most effective when combined with other therapies.
Cancer/tumor cells are common in us. When they don’t grow excessively, they coexist well with other cells in our body. When the angiogenesis process is out of balance, or the angiogenesis stimulating and inhibiting chemicals are out of balance, cancer cells go crazy.
As the old saying goes: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure.
Keeping the angiogenesis stimulating and inhibiting chemicals in balance is the key in the prevention. I guess this is the basis of Dr. William Li’s thesis on “Eat to starve cancer”.