Cardiac Gene Therapy: From Concept to Reality
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- Kratlian, R.G. & Hajjar, R.J. Curr Heart Fail Rep (2012) 9: 33. doi:10.1007/s11897-011-0077-1
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Heart failure is increasing in incidence throughout the world, especially in industrialized countries. Although the current therapeutic modalities have been successful in stabilizing the course of heart failure, morbidity and mortality remain quite high and there remains a great need for innovative breakthroughs that will offer new treatment strategies for patients with advanced forms of the disease. The past few years have witnessed a greater understanding of the molecular underpinnings of the failing heart, paving the way for novel strategies in modulating the cellular environment. As such, gene therapy has recently emerged as a powerful tool offering the promise of a new paradigm for alleviating heart failure. Current gene therapy research for heart failure is focused on exploring potential cellular targets and preclinical and clinical studies are ongoing toward the realization of this goal. Efforts also include the development of sophisticated viral vectors and vector delivery methods for efficient transduction of cardiomyocytes.