Arterial gene transfer for therapeutic angiogenesis in patients with peripheral artery disease

Hum Gene Ther. 1996 May 20;7(8):959-88. doi: 10.1089/hum.1996.7.8-959.


The age-adjusted prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in the U.S. population has been estimated to approach 12%. The clinical consequences of occlusive peripheral arterial disease (PAD) include pain on walking (claudication), pain at rest, and loss of tissue integrity in the distal limbs; the latter may ultimately lead to amputation of a portion of the lower extremity. Surgical bypass techniques and percutaneous catheter-based interventions may be used to successfully revascularize the limbs of certain patients with PAD. In many patients, however, the anatomic extent and distribution of arterial occlusion is too severe to permit relief of pain and/or healing of ischemic ulcers. No effective medical therapy is available for the treatment of such patients. The purpose of this clinical protocol is to document the safety of therapeutic angiogenesis achieved in this case by percutaneous catheter-based delivery of the gene encoding vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in patients with PAD; and, as secondary objectives, investigate the bioactivity of this strategy to relieve rest pain and heal ischemic ulcers of the lower extremities. The rationale for this human protocol is based upon preclinical studies performed in a rabbit model of hindlimb ischemia. These studies are described in detail below and in the manuscripts enclosed in the Appendix to this proposal. In brief, a single intra-arterial bolus of VEGF recombinant human protein, delivered percutaneously to the ischemic limb via an intravascular catheter, resulted in angiographic, hemodynamic, physiologic, and histologic evidence of augmented collateral artery development. Subsequently, similar results were achieved using an angioplasty catheter with a hydrogel-coated balloon to deliver 400 micrograms of a plasmid containing the cDNA for VEGF to the internal iliac artery in the same animal model. Accordingly, we propose to administer arterial gene (VEGF) therapy to patients with rest pain and/or ischemic leg ulcers considered not to be candidates for conventional revascularization techniques. The dose of plasmid to be administered will be progressively escalated beginning with 500 micrograms for the first four patients, 1000 micrograms for the following six patients, 2000 micrograms for the third group of six patients, and 400 micrograms for the fourth group of six patients.

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / pathology*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / administration & dosage
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics*
  • Extremities
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / therapy*
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / genetics*
  • Patient Selection
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Plasmids


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Luciferases