Constitutive Expression of phVEGF165 After Intramuscular Gene Transfer Promotes Collateral Vessel Development in Patients With Critical Limb Ischemia

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Preclinical studies have indicated that angiogenic growth factors can stimulate the development of collateral arteries, a concept called "therapeutic angiogenesis." The objectives of this phase 1 clinical trial were (1) to document the safety and feasibility of intramuscular gene transfer by use of naked plasmid DNA encoding an endothelial cell mitogen and (2) to analyze potential therapeutic benefits in patients with critical limb ischemia.


These findings may be cautiously interpreted to indicate that intramuscular injection of naked plasmid DNA achieves constitutive overexpression of VEGF sufficient to induce therapeutic angiogenesis in selected patients with critical limb ischemia. (Circulation. 1998;97:1114-1123.)

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