Narrator: This is Science Today. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - a time when women across the nation are reminded about the prevention and early detection of the disease. It's also a time to raise awareness about breast cancer research. At the University of California, San Francisco there's a clinical an ongoing clinical trial using a drug that blocks new blood vessel growth. Dr. Laura Esserman, director of the university's Breast Cancer Center, says the field is called angiogenesis.
Esserman: What that means is, the blood vessels that support the growth of tumors. Tumors can't bet big if they don't have food and food comes from the blood. And there's specific ways in which tumors recruit the growth of blood vessels to help support them. It's like they're building roads to themselves so they can get supplies in. So the idea is, if you can block the road or destroy the roads or the bridges, that you can stop tumors from growing.
Narrator: The ultimate goal of this research is to determine whether an anti-angiogenic agent can effectively starve tumors in women with earlier stages of breast cancer. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.