The main reason for coronary symptoms is myocardial ischemia caused by occluded coronary vessels and impaired blood perfusion into the tissue. The aim of treating CAD with gene therapy is to cause regenerative changes and to improve myocardial blood flow. Therapeutic vascular growth is a new concept for the treatment of ischemic vascular diseases. It involves stimulation of angiogenesis, arteriogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and induction of regenerative changes via activation of stem/progenitors cells. Angiogenesis means sprouting, bridging, intussusception, and/or enlargement of capillaries from the pre-existing ones, whereas arteriogenesis is the in-situ enlargement and growth of muscular collateral vessels from pre-existing arteriolar anastomoses.
The members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family regulate all types of vascular growth and it is VEGF-D that is the specific focus of this trial.