Excessive cell proliferation contributes to the pathobiology of human diseases with a high health and socioeconomic impact, including cancer and vascular occlusive diseases (e.g., atherosclerosis, in-stent restenosis, transplant vasculopathy, and vessel bypass graft failure). Recent advances in the understanding of the molecular networks governing the hyperplastic growth of tumors and vascular obstructive neointimal lesions have provided new perspectives for preventive and therapeutic strategies against these disorders. Mammalian cell proliferation requires the activation of several cyclin-dependent protein kinases (CDKs). Postranslational activation of CDKs is a complex process that involves their association with regulatory subunits called cyclins. The activity of CDK / cyclin holoenzymes is negatively regulated through their interaction with members of the CDK family of inhibitory proteins (CKIs). Moreover, over fifty low molecular weight pharmacological CDK inhibitors that target the ATP-binding pocket of the catalytic site of CDKs have been identified. In this review, we will discuss the use of pharmacological and gene therapy strategies against CDK / cyclins in animal models and clinical trials of cancer and cardiovascular disease.