BOSTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On January 14, Dr. Judah Folkman, founder of the field of angiogenesis, died unexpectedly in Denver, Colo., while en route to Vancouver for one of the thousands of lectures that he gave to scientists around the world. A visionary and scientific pioneer, Dr. Folkman was founder and director of the Vascular Biology Program at Children's Hospital Boston, and a professor of Pediatric Surgery and Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School.
When Dr. Folkman first proposed, in the 1970s, that a cancer could be kept in check by cutting off its blood supply, he faced skepticism from a scientific community that simply wasn't ready for his ideas. But he persevered, even when there were setbacks, and today, more than 1,000 laboratories worldwide are engaged in the study of angiogenesis, the field he founded. As a result of Dr. Folkman's vision and resilience, more than 10 new cancer drugs are currently on the market, and more than 1.2 million patients worldwide are now receiving anti-angiogenic therapy.
Folkman's work has also spawned intensive research into stimulators of angiogenesis, to treat conditions such as heart attacks where a new network of blood vessels is needed, as well as research to control abnormal angiogenesis in non-cancerous diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The FDA-approved angiogenesis inhibitors Macugen and Lucentis have slowed vision loss and even restored vision in some patients with macular degeneration.
"The world has lost a bright light, but his contributions live on in
the thousands of researchers he mentored, new treatments that his work
spawned, and patients for whom he always deeply cared and to whom he gave
so generously of his time and knowledge," said James Mandell, MD, President
and Chief Executive Officer, at Children's Hospital Boston, who began his
urologic training at Children's when Folkman was surgeon-in-chief. "For 30
years, I and coun
|SOURCE Children's Hospital Boston|
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