Underlying Causes and "Judah Folkman Thinking"

Underlying Causes

The refrigerator in your kitchen stops working. Then you notice that the microwave isn't working. You call an appliance repairman. Then the lights go out and you realize that the fridge and the microwave might be fine - but there is an underlying problem - there is a problem with the electricity.

Something like that happens with autoimmune disease. The immune system has a problem. Then something - a case of the flu, an injury, or even the birth of a child - triggers that immune system and it attacks a healthy organ. If it attacks your pancreas, you get Type 1 diabetes, if it attacks your adrenal gland, you get Addison's disease.

ARI believes there are common mechanisms underlying many autoimmune diseases. 

Judah Folkman

Judah Folkman was a pediatric surgeon who operated on tumors in children.  He noticed how those tumors were filled with blood vessels.  He realized that it might not be necessary to attack the cancer cell itself - you might be able to kill the cancer by cutting off it's supply of blood. He started to study how cancers grow blood vessels, a process that doctors call "angiogenesis".