Indexed on: 01 Sep '95Published on: 01 Sep '95Published in: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Gene therapy is the introduction of new genetic material into somatic cells to synthesize missing or defective proteins. Efficient methods for the introduction of genetic material into cells are available, both in vitro and in vivo. These strategies involve chemical, physical, and viral-mediated mechanisms of gene transfer. Application of these gene transfer techniques has led to the development of potential gene-based treatment strategies that could combat vascular and myocardial disease. Gene therapy in the treatment of cardiovascular disease promises to alter atherosclerotic risk factors, prevent vascular thrombotic disease, retard progression of disease in the peripheral vasculature, provide drug delivery systems, and prevent myocardial infarction in patients with coronary artery disease. This exciting technology will eventually become the ultimate intervention in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.