Thursday, May 24, 2012

Angiogenesis

I only learned about angiogenesis last year. Not having recently gone to medical school, I turned to my friend, Mr. Google (as opposed to Dr. Google) for a definition. Wikipedia says:

"Angiogenesis is the physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels."

 It goes on to add:

"Angiogenesis may be a target for combating diseases characterized by either poor vascularisation or abnormal vasculature."

Now we have gotten through a LOT of big words this morning.I have found an article explaining how contrast MRI may predict how women would respond to chemotherapy and possibly allow them to avoid mastectomies. Another (as if we needed it) research study was done and found:

"... contrast-enhanced MRIs can work as an early predictor of the body’s response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy by measuring the blood vessel formation in tumors, a process known as angiogenesis.  Angiogenesis is considered an earlier and more accurate marker of tumor response."

"... MRIs can detect tumor changes as early as the first cycle of chemotherapy.  If the tumor appears smaller and less bright on the scan, it can be interpreted as a sign that the chemotherapy may be effective and eventually lead to tumor eradication."
However this is all new and exciting but the results will be published later this year and then we need to see if this is coming soon to a hospital near you (and me). So one big word I learned last year combined with a technology I have already experienced has created progress. We may have to wait but in this case progress is progress.

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