The primary focus of the Folkman laboratory is on selectively controlling the process of angiogenesis to prevent and treat disease. Research in this laboratory and in others within the Vascular Biology Program is focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms that both initiate and suppress angiogenesis. Once identified, such processes become potential targets for the development of diagnostic tests and therapeutic drugs for conditions ranging from obesity to eye diseases to cancer.
More than 50 such products are now in clinical trials, including a urine test to identify preclinical malignancies and several anti-angiogenic compounds. One anti-angiogenic drug, Avastin, has been approved by the FDA, as part of combination chemotherapy for first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.