In the last decade, gene therapy for cardiovascular diseases has been becoming a reality. However, although numerous successful experimental studies have suggested possible strategies of gene therapy for cardiovascular disorders, the clinical outcome remains limited. Because cardiovascular diseases are the result of complex causes, there is no exact answer to the following question: Which is the best gene to treat vascular diseases? In addition, current limitations include less clinically relevant vectors regarding both gene-transfer efficiency and safety, and at present, most efforts are focused on identifying more effective therapeutic genes, as well as developing more effective vectors. Furthermore, greater pathophysiologic understanding of these diseases, including vein-graft remodeling and ischemic limbs, is required. Regarding the relevant vector, we recently developed a novel mononegavirus-based gene-transfer vector, namely recombinant Sendai virus, which has shown dramatically superior gene-transfer efficiency to other vectors, including adenovirus, in several organs (eg, the vessel wall and skeletal muscles). These efforts now offer new possibilities to get more fruits in the field of gene therapy for vascular surgery.
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