Understanding Angiogenesis
The Angiogenic Process
Angiogenesis in Disease
Angiogenesis in Breast Cancer
Facts and Figures


Facts and Figures

Blood vessels are comprised of cells called "endothelial cells." The total surface area covered by these cells in an adult is 1000 m2, roughly the size of a tennis court.
If all the blood vessels in the body were lined up end-to-end, they would form a line that could circle the earth twice.
Blood vessel cells do not normally grow in the healthy adult, they are normally inactive, or quiescent.
There are more than 19 known angiogenic growth factors.
Five of the angiogenic growth factors are being tested in humans for growing new blood vessels to heal wounds and to restore blood flow to the heart, limbs and brain.
The first commercially-available angiogenic growth factor is PDGF-BB (platelet-derived growth factor-BB, Regranex) used to speed healing in chronic wounds.
Angiogenic gene therapy is also being developed as a method to deliver angiogenic growth factors to the heart, limbs and wounds.
There are at least 30 known natural angiogenesis inhibitors found in the body.
The first angiogenesis inhibitor molecule was discovered in 1975 by Drs. Henry Brem and Judah Folkman during their study of cartilage.
Angiogenesis inhibitors have been discovered from natural sources, including tree bark, fungi, shark muscle and cartilage, sea coral, green tea and herbs (licorice, ginseng, cumin, garlic).
In total, more than 300 angiogenesis inhibitors have been discovered to date.
As many as 150 million patients in Western nations could benefit from some form of antiangiogenic therapy.
At least 300 million patients in Western nations would benefit from some form of angiogenesis-stimulating (pro-angiogenic) therapy.
The first successful treatment of an angiogenesis-dependent disease occurred in 1989, when the drug interferon alfa2a, an angiogenesis inhibitor, was used to regress the abnormal blood vessels growing in the lungs of a boy with a benign disease called pulmonary hemangiomatosis.
At least 6,500 cancer patients have been treated with some form of experimental antiangiogenic therapy.
Some cancer patients have experienced dramatic regression of their tumor from antiangiogenic therapy; others have experienced stabilization of their disease.
More than 1,000 patients with heart disease have received some form of experimental angiogenic therapy.
The first FDA-approved device to stimulate new blood vessels to grow in diseased hearts is a laser used in a technique called Direct Myocardial Revascularization.
The first FDA-approved blood vessel therapy for eye disease is a type of photodynamic therapy called Visudyne (QLT Therapeutics/CibaVision), which has shown effectiveness for treating macular degeneration.
The first FDA-approved angiogenesis-stimulating medicine is a wound healing gel called Regranex (recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-BB, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals) which was FDA-approved to treat diabetic foot ulcers in December 1997.
An estimated $4 billion has been invested in the research and development angiogenesis-based medicines, making this one of the most heavily funded areas of medical research in human history.

DOBI Medical International would like to thank Dr. William Li and the Angiogenesis Foundation for providing much of the information presented above. For more information on the Angiogenesis Foundation, please visit www.angio.org.