Angiogenic gene therapy in cardiovascular diseases: dream or vision?
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CitationYlä-Herttuala S. Bridges C. Katz MG. Korpisalo P. (2017). Angiogenic gene therapy in cardiovascular diseases: dream or vision?. EUROPEAN HEART JOURNAL, 38 (18) , 1365-1371. 10.1093/eurheartj/ehw547.
Chronic cardiovascular diseases are significant health problems. Although current treatment strategies have tremendously improved disease management, up to 30% of these patients cannot be successfully treated with current treatment approaches and new treatment strategies are clearly needed. Gene therapy and therapeutic vascular growth may provide a new treatment option for these patients. Several growth factors, like vascular endothelial growth factors, fibroblast growth factors and hepatocyte growth factor have been tested in clinical trials. However, apart from demonstration of increased vascularity, very few results with clinical significance have been obtained. Problems with gene transfer efficiency, short duration of transgene expression, selection of endpoints, and suboptimal patients for gene therapy have been recognized. Ongoing gene therapy trials have included improvements in study protocols, vector delivery and endpoints, addressing the identified problems. Better, targeted delivery systems and new, more optimal growth factors have been taken to clinical testing. Recent advances in these areas will be discussed and the concept of angiogenic therapy as a sole treatment is re-evaluated. A combination with regenerative therapies or standard revascularization operations might be needed to improve tissue function and clinical benefits.