- 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 at least 20 different known angiogenic growth factors.
- Five angiogenic growth factors are being tested in humans for growing new blood vessels to heal wounds and restore blood flow to the heart, limbs, and brain.
- 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 Dr. Judah Folkman and Dr. Henry Brem in a 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.
- At least 184 million patients in Western nations could benefit from some form of antiangiogenic therapy.
- At least 314 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.
- Some cancer patients have experienced dramatic regression of their tumors from antiangiogenic therapy; others have experienced stabilization of their disease.
- More than 2,000 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, or DMR (sometimes called transmyocardial revascularization, TMR).
- 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 angiogenesis-stimulating medicine is a prescription gel called Regranex (recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-BB, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals) that became FDA-approved to heal diabetic foot ulcers in December 1997.
- More than $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.
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