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D. Angiogenesis And Cancer Research

Narrator: This is Science Today. Cancer researchers are working on drugs which would stop the growth of blood vessels which feed tumors and keep them thriving. Dr. Laura Esserman of the University of California, San Francisco says magnetic resonance imaging can play a role in treatment.

Esserman: Because you have something that's a clear picture, you can use this as a way to monitor whether or not a drug is working. So instead of it taking decades to find out if it works, you can find out right away, in a matter of months. I think that would be an enormous contribution to the field.

Narrator: MRI already provides a clear picture of cancer by picking up the abnormal blood vessel growth present in the disease.

Esserman: So if we had a new agent in what we all an anti-angiogenetic agent, something that destroy those new blood vessels, we oughta be able to see that on the MRI and quantify it, so that we could have that as a target...say instead of waiting to see whether people die or don't die. That we can say, well, we can see it has an impact on the tumor and it's dramatic enough early, early on that we can use that as a way to say, OK, that's good enough - now we can put it in clinical trials or now we can start using it.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.