I only came across this TED talk from William Li a few months ago and it absolutely blew my mind.
I’ve always believed that diet is an important part of preventing or fighting cancer and my early regime made use of a quite strict diet. But this confirmed that in stone!
What William Li talks about is anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumour. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels. This process involves the migration, growth, and differentiation of endothelial cells, which line the inside wall of blood vessels. This page discusses both angiogenesis and anti-angiogenesis in more detail.
Anyway, enough of my waffle, lets have a look at the TED:
What he said blew me away, but the thing that stunned me most was when he said the following:
.. taken from the era in which there was only chemotherapy, or surgery, or radiation available. But starting in 2004, when anti-angiogenic therapies first became available, …William Li, Can we eat to starve cancer?
Hang on, I’m watching this in 2019, when was it actually made? It turns out that the film was made in 2010! and he’s reminiscing about 2004; a time when what is commonly known as “Cut, burn, poison” therapy was all there was. That is all I’ve ever been offered by the NHS since I was diagnosed back in late 2013! It makes me so angry, how far cancer treatment has moved on and the NHS has not.
What’s worse than that is that he talks about “therapies” not just eating to achieve anti-angiogenesis. Given it was made in 2010 things must have moved on a lot?
Yes, they have! The previous link I posted is dated 2 April 2018 and its part of a section entitled “Types of Cancer Treatment/Immunotherapy”, Immunotherapy is something the NHS continues to drag their heels in implementing as standard treatment despite what the rest of the world does. That’s probably why I’d never heard of anti-angiogenesis until this year.
Further down that page is a list of angiogenesis inhibitors currently approved by the FDA:
- Axitinib (Inlyta®)
- Bevacizumab (Avastin®)
- Cabozantinib (Cometriq®)
- Everolimus (Afinitor®)
- Lenalidomide (Revlimid®)
- Lenvatinib mesylate (Lenvima®)
- Pazopanib (Votrient®)
- Ramucirumab (Cyramza®)
- Regorafenib (Stivarga®)
- Sorafenib (Nexavar®)
- Sunitinib (Sutent®)
- Thalidomide (Synovir, Thalomid®)
- Vandetanib (Caprelsa®)
- Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap®)
Each of those links will tell you what types of cancer those drugs are approved for in the U.S. Unfortunately to find the same information in the UK is not so easy; this is the NICE information for Bevacizumab (Avastin) which is one of the better known, from there you can find out about the others.
But, the thing to take from the talk is you can start trying to prevent tumours growing, whether you have cancer or are healthy, just by simply eating the right things. I’m drinking a mug of green tea whilst writing this and try and get 2 or 3 in a day.
Here’s a list of anti-angiogenetic foods:
And here’s some advice on how to fit them in:
Interesting stuff. Onwards and upwards!