Current perceptions of cardiovascular gene therapy.
Due to differences in their knowledge base, scientists, health care professionals, and the general public have varying perceptions of the expectations and risks of using gene therapy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Gene therapists are aware of the importance of selecting the right vector, the right gene, and the right administration procedure for a specific application and for characterization of the heterogeneity of the physiologic response to gene expression. They also recognize the need for large-scale clinical trials to demonstrate short- and long-term safety, in addition to efficacy, for widespread acceptance. Interventional cardiologists are more likely to judge a therapy primarily on its ability to improve cardiovascular pathophysiology and function, although they too will demand safety data. Once convinced of the benefits of a gene therapy, interventional cardiologists will rely on regulatory and reimbursement authorities to approve the procedure. Attitudes of less-specialized physicians toward gene therapy and, specifically, therapeutic angiogenesis will be influenced by the level of clinical trial activity in their country and opinions expressed in the media. However, all will want safety and efficacy data as well as clear guidance on the type of patients who should be referred for treatment. Nurses' roles are set to expand with the introduction of gene-based therapies; most will need further genetics education to rise to these challenges with confidence. The success of a gene therapy will also rely on patients' perceptions and their willingness to receive the treatment. Any misconceptions based on unreliable information sources need to be addressed.
Dzau, VJ; Beatt, K; Pompilio, G; Smith, K
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