Judah Folkman, a proponent of the idea that halting angiogenesis could starve tumors, died yesterday at the age of 74. According to news reports, the cause of death was a heart attack. The promise of anti-angiogenesis therapies led to many high hopes for Folkman's work, particularly when the New York Times ran a linkurl:1998 story;http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Folkmans-War-Angiogenesis-Struggle/dp/0375502440 quoting James Watson's prediction that Folkman would cure cancer in two years. Folkman "was upset about that," recalled Rakesh Jain, a colleague of Folkman's at Harvard. "He knew that it would take time. He was realistic about it. But he was also optimistic, " said Jain. That optimism inspired Folkman to continue pursuing anti-angiogenesis therapies after they failed to live up to their early hype, and in 2004, the FDA approved the linkurl:first biological therapy;http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/AvastinFactSheet that blocked the formation of new blood vessels to tumors. "That optimism did translate into something," Jain told me by...
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