Starving Cancerous Tumors

Surrounded by her family, 51-year-old Martha Walker counts her blessings. She’s been married for 30 years, has five children and 14 grandchildren. Despite being told her chances of survival were slim, Martha is winning her battle against cancer.

Martha Walker, “I was so sick, let’s be honest, I thought I might pass away.”

Martha’s weapon is a new line of drugs being used to starve tumors to death.

For a tumor to grow, it must have blood vessels to feed it. This process is called angiogenesis. Now doctors in Houston are testing a drug called TNP-470. The drug is designed to stop blood vessels from growing and feeding the tumors.

Alfred Yung, M.D., neurologist & neuro-oncologist , M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, “I think it provides hope for cancer patients mainly because this is a whole new way of treating cancer.”

Here’s Martha’s lung tumor before treatment. And this is it after taking TNP-470. It disappeared.

Andrzej Kudelka, M.D., oncologist, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, “We were really delighted and almost shocked to see actual shrinkage of the tumors.”

Martha Walker, “Now that the medicine worked and I’m doing great, I’m just thankful. I’m blessed. I really am.”

And she’ll be around to watch her grandchildren grow up.

The drugs are being tested on patients with cervical cancer, brain tumors, breast and prostate cancer. Another drug of the same type is thalidomide. That drug grabbed headlines in the 1960s because it caused severe birth defects. It is now being tested at centers around the United States.

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