William Li eloquently develops an answer to the question, “Can we eat to starve cancer?”
Controversial Diet Battle
In the final months, even a compassionate hug of her fragile frame brought pain. After a valiant fight lasting several years, a good friend succumbed to multiple myeloma.  This is why a slide presented by Dr. Li at the TED2010 conference caught my attention. Therein, a graph showed survival rates from this insidious form of cancer has improved 70% since 2004 with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved antiangiogenic drugs. 
Dr. William Li heads the Angiogenesis Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is re-conceptualizing global disease fighting. In the U.S., there are currently eight approved anti-cancer therapies with recognized antiangiogenic properties in oncology. 
The FDA has approved bevacizumab (Avastin®)  for use with other drugs to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, some non-small cell lung cancers, and some breast cancers that have spread to other parts of the body.
Bevacizumab was the first angiogenesis inhibitor proven to delay tumor growth and, more importantly, extend the lives of patients. The FDA has also approved other drugs with antiangiogenic activity as cancer therapies for multiple myeloma, mantle cell lymphoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), and kidney cancer. 
Angiogenesis, first coined in 1787 by Dr. John Hunter,  describes the body’s natural ability to form capillaries—tiny blood vessels that feed physiological organs. When functioning properly, they starve cancer cells. Abnormal angiogenesis tricks the body into feeding harmful cancer cells with oxygen and nutrients
Antiangiognic drugs target and arrest such abnormal capillary production. Despite relative success with some forms of cancer, Dr. Li postulates why the treatment is sometimes less than optimal. It is best to treat the cancer cells prior to metastasis—not with some powerful pre-cancer drug—but with diet.
⚠️ Not latest thinking on angiogenesis cancer treatment
Eat Foods to Prevent Cancer
Diet accounts for 30-35% percent of cancers. Rather than lengthening the list of carcinogenic foods to avoid,  The Angiogenesis Foundation is investigating foods to consume. Many foods—mostly fresh fruits and vegetables —contain natural angiogenesis inhibitors. The potency varies among different strains and varietals. In fact, with certain combinations, there is food synergy. Effectiveness compares well with statins and NSAIDs.
It should be emphasized that angiogenesis is a necessary part of human and animal life. The goal of this nutrition is not to halt the process completely but to inhibit abnormal angiogenesis as it relates to cancer growth. Hence, mitigating stress and building muscle mass with exercise are encouraged as part of a comprehensive fitness regimen. [9,10]
Dietary Sources of Naturally-Occurring Antiangiogenic Substances
Continued research is focusing on establishing a rating system for foods based on their anti-angiogenic data. Those interested in or currently battling cancer can discuss antiangiogenic modalities with their physicians and look for clinical trials. Dr. Li also recommends patients personally investigate credible sources for current antiangiogenic dietary research. [11,12]
This article was originally published September 23, 2010 on ClinicalPosters. It is provided only for historical research and discussion. Login for video.
- Multiple myeloma. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-myeloma/symptoms-causes/syc-20353378 Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer? TED, February 2010, ted.com/talks/william_li_can_we_eat_to_starve_cancer?awesm=on.ted.com_8KBW Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Angiogenesis Inhibitors for Cancer. The Angiogenesis Foundation, angio.org/learn/treatments/angiogenesis-inhibitors-for-cancer/ Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Good and bad news for an antiangiogenic. Journal of Clinical Investigation/articles/view/39834 Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Angiogenesis Inhibitors Therapy. National Cancer Institute, cancer.org/about-cancer/treatment/types/immunotherapy/angiogenesis-inhibitors-fact-sheet Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Historical Highlights. The Angiogenesis Foundation, angio.org/learn/angiogenesis/historical-highlights/ Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Cancer and Oncology Information. Drugs.com/cancer.html Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Spices for Prevention and Treatment of Cancers. National Institute of Health, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997408/ Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Top Cancer-Fighting Foods. Slideshow, webmd.com/cancer/ss/slideshow-cancer-fighting-foods Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Diet, Lifestyle & Angiogenesis. The Angiogenesis Foundation, angio.org/learn/angiogenesis/diet-lifestyle-angiogenesis/ Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- The State of the Science on Anti-Angiogenic Foods. Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 2018, blog.dana-farber.org/insight/2018/07/state-science-anti-angiogenic-foods/ Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Antiangiogenic diet. Google search results, google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=anti-angiogenic+diet&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&sa=X&ei=GwKcTLLBNpOisQPki-38CA&ved=0CBEQBSgA&q=antiangiogenic+diet&spell=1&fp=4628076928999c72 Retrieved 23 Sep 2010
- Angiogenesis Foundation President and CEO Dr. William Li’s EAT TO BEAT DISEASE Achieves New York Times Bestseller Status. angio.org/etbdnyt/ Retrieved 23 Sep 2010