"There is a fine line between persistence and obstinacy. How does one know when this line has been crossed and when to change direction? I have come to realize that the key is to choose a problem that is worth persistent effort."
Dr. Judah Folkman needed persistence. For 20 years his research in angiogenesis met with hostility and derision. Almost alone among researchers, Folkman believed the growth of cancer could be checked, and tumors eliminated, by depriving tumors of their blood supply, and that the blood supply could be cut off by checking angiogenesis, the process by which the body builds new blood vessels to feed new tissues.
Overcoming the hostility of his colleagues, and the skepticism of those who provide funding for medical research, he discovered dozens of new compounds to restrain the growth of blood vessels. His introduction of the compound interferon to cancer therapy changed the course of treatment for many patients, and newer compounds have shown almost miraculous results in laboratory animals. Many scientists predict that when a pharmaceutical treatment for human cancer is perfected, it will be built on the work of Dr. Judah Folkman.