59 million Americans—one in five—have some form of cardiovascular
disease, according to the American Heart Association. Heart attack is the
top killer of people in this country, and stroke, another cardiovascular
disease, is number three.
14 million people, the disease is so severe that segments of the heart
have no blood supply. Treatment options are slim for this group of
patients whose hearts are failing because of clogged blood vessels and the
resulting oxygen deficiency.
a new therapy offered by Health Science Center faculty at University
Hospital holds hope. Called “angiogenesis,” the treatment involves
delivery of a growth factor directly to coronary arteries. This agent
helps promote the growth of new collateral vessels to compensate for
blocked coronary arteries.
studies showed Recombinant Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 (rFGF-2) works by
inducing cells along existing blood vessel walls to grow and divide,
resulting in the growth of new blood vessels that can increase the flow of
blood and oxygen to the heart. Initial human trials confirmed the
agent’s promise. Now Steven R. Bailey, M.D., professor of medicine, and
his colleagues are treating patients with rFGF-2. The first half-dozen
have responded well, increasing their everyday activities with reduced
shortness of breath and chest pain.
drug delivery procedure is minimally invasive and similar to a heart