Refractory angina is resistant to conventional therapies for coronary artery disease. Gene therapy to repair damaged heart muscle is most likely to succeed
if it can be injected at the site of ischemia where there is viable
myocardium with reduced contractile ability. A new technique that
combines imaging and electroanatomical mapping does just that.
A study of this novel approach that shows increased blood flow in treated areas in patients with refractory angina is published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
Seppo Ylš-Herttuala, Kuopio University Hospital and University of Eastern Finland (Kuo-pio, Finland), together with coauthors Antti Kivelš, Antti Hedman, and Juha Hartikainen, and Antti Saraste and Juhani Knuuti, from Turku University Hospital, Finland, describe their method for targeted cardiac gene transfer in the article entitled "Intramyocardial Gene Therapy Directed to Hibernating Heart Muscle Using a Combination of Electromechanical Mapping and Positron Emission Tomography".
"Dr. Ylš-Herttualla's milestone clinical trial results demonstrate how gene therapy for heart disease can be rendered much more specific," says Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and Dean, Provost, and Executive Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.