Long-Term Follow-Up Evaluation of Results From Clinical Trial (TREAT-HGF) Using Hepatocyte Growth Factor Gene to Treat Severe Peripheral Arterial Disease
Objective—As angiogenic growth factors can stimulate the development of collateral arteries, a concept called therapeutic angiogenesis, we performed a phase I/Iia open-label clinical trial using intramuscular injection of naked plasmid DNA encoding hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). We reported long-term evaluation of 2 years after HGF gene therapy in 22 patients with severe peripheral arterial disease.
Methods and Results—Twenty-two patients with peripheral arterial disease or Buerger disease staged by Fontaine IIb (n=7), III (n=4), and IV (n=11) were treated with HGF plasmid, either 2 mg or 4 mg ×2. Increase in ankle-branchial pressure index >0.1 was observed in 11 of 14 patients (79 %) at 2 years after gene therapy and in 11 of the 17 patients (65%) at 2 months. Reduction in rest pain (>2 cm in visual analog scale) was observed in 9 of 9 patients (100%) at 2 years and in 8 of 13 (62%) patients at 2 months. At 2 years, 9 of 10 (90%) ischemic ulcers reduced by >25%, accompanied by a reduction in the size of ulcer. Severe complications and adverse effects caused by gene transfer were not detected in any patient throughout the period up to 2 years.
Conclusion—Overall, the present study demonstrated long-term efficacy of HGF gene therapy up to 2 years. These findings may be cautiously interpreted to indicate that intramuscular injection of naked HGF plasmid is safe, feasible, and can achieve successful improvement of ischemic limbs as sole therapy.
- Received December 26, 2011.
- Accepted July 30, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.