Angiogenesis is a promising novel therapeutic strategy to provide new venues for blood flow in patients with severe ischemic heart and peripheral vascular disease, who are not candidates for standard revascularization strategies. We describe the underlying mechanisms involved in physiologic and therapeutic angiogenesis, underscoring the relative importance of vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, and arteriogenesis. We then present the various gene transfer vectors including plasmid, viral, and cell-based vectors, and various delivery modalities. The available preclinical data are presented, followed by a description of preliminary clinical experience, with an emphasis on the preliminary nature of these results, which address safety and not efficacy. Finally, we discuss the promises and pitfalls of clinical angiogenesis and gene transfer studies, stressing the importance of proper design of clinical trials and adequate protection of research subjects.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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