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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2004 Jul;28(1):9-23.

Therapeutic angiogenesis in peripheral arterial disease: can biotechnology produce an effective collateral circulation?

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  • 1Centre for Integrated Systems Biology and Medicine, School of Medical and Surgical Sciences University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.


The physiological processes of angiogenesis, vasculogenesis and arteriogenesis contribute to the growth of collateral vessels in response to obstructive arterial disease causing lower limb or myocardial ischaemia, but in clinical practice the endogenous angiogenic response is often suboptimal or impaired, e.g. by factors such as ageing, diabetes or drug therapies. Therapeutic angiogenesis is an application of biotechnology to stimulate new vessel formation via local administration of pro-angiogenic growth factors in the form of recombinant protein or gene therapy, or by implantation of endothelial progenitor cells that will synthesize multiple angiogenic cytokines. Numerous experimental and clinical studies have sought to establish 'proof of concept' for therapeutic angiogenesis in PAD and myocardial ischaemia using different treatment modalities, but the results have been inconsistent. This review summarises the mechanisms of angiogenesis and the results of recent trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of different gene therapy, recombinant protein and cellular-based treatment approaches to enhance collateral vessel formation.

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