By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Angiogenesis is the formation and development of blood vessels. It occurs normally in people during wound healing or restoring blood flow to injured tissues, but here is the major problem. An imbalance of the process can lead to disease.

For instance, in cancer, too much angiogenesis, or blood vessel growth, can feed the diseased tissue and destroy normal tissue. But in certain cases, not enough angiogenesis occurs, and in a condition such as coronary heart disease, this inadequate blood vessel growth can cause poor circulation and tissue death.

That’s why so much money is being spent on ways to better understand angiogenesis. And it clearly shows how we’re looking at not one cure for cancer, but many options that are out there. Angiogenesis is one of the key areas in medical research.