The present clinical trial analyzed the safety of gene therapy using plasmidial constructs expressing vascular endothelial and hepatocyte growth factors in patients with critical limb ischemia. The study included 43 patients: 29 in the treatment group and 14 allocated to the placebo group. The primary end points were the rate of major amputations and the clinical safety of the method. Secondary end points were improvement of pain at rest, walking ability and the ankle/brachial pressure index. The overall major amputation rate was 31.04% in the treatment group and 71.42% in the placebo group (p=0.029). Pain at rest was improved in 65% of patients in the gene therapy group and in 7% in the placebo group (p=0.0006). There were no significant adverse effects in the treatment group. Conclusion: Gene therapy with vascular endothelial and hepatocyte growth factors is therapeutically safe and reduces the rate of major amputations and relieves pain at rest in patients with critical limb ischemia.
Keywords: Gene therapy, VEGF, HGF, critical limb ischemia, vascular endothelial, hepatocyte, ischemia, peripheral arterial, analgesics, narcotics, Leriche-Fontaine, PAOD, Therapeutic
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