Recent advances in understanding the molecular and cellular basis of cardiovascular diseases, together with the availability of tools for genetic manipulation of the cardiovascular system, offer possibilities for new treatments. Gene therapies have demonstrated potential usefulness for treating complex cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, atherosclerosis and myocardial ischemia, in various animal models. Some of these experimental therapies are now undergoing clinical evaluation in patients with cardiovascular disease. However, the successful transition of these therapies into mainstream clinical practice awaits further improvements to vector platforms and delivery tools and the documentation of clinical feasibility, safety and efficacy through multi-center randomized trials.
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