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Future Directions in Wound Healing
Therapeutic angiogenesis is now a proven medical strategy for promoting faster wound healing in diabetic foot ulcers and other chronic wounds. Future angiogenic treatments for wounds will use new biomedical technologies, such as gene therapies, to heal and regenerate different types of tissues, such as nerves, muscle, and bone.

Gene therapy:
The therapeutic delivery of genes to sites of injury to stimulate angiogenesis has recently begun to show great clinical promise after years of research. In gene therapy, angiogenesis-promoting genes are injected into diseased tissues. Once there, the genes instruct cells to begin pumping out proangiogenic growth factors to promote blood vessel growth and healing. One such gene therapy product is in phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of advanced CLI. Results from this study are eagerly anticipated.

Nerve regeneration:
Blood vessels are critical for growing and maintaining healthy nerves. Stimulating angiogenesis may therefore be useful for mitigating nerve injury, a common problem in people with diabetes and other vascular diseases. Despite modern medical advances, the treatment of nerve damage in diabetic patients, called diabetic neuropathy, remains a major unmet need. Seven percent of people with diabetes develop some form of neuropathy within one year of diagnosis, and 50% develop neuropathy within 25 years of developing diabetes.6

In clinical trials of diabetic mice, the use of proangiogenic agents restored blood flow to neurons and improved the transmission of signals along nerves. 6-7 Many cancer patients also suffer nerve damage induced by certain chemotherapy agents. In one preliminary study, an angiogenic growth factor delivered to animals with neuropathy induced by chemotherapy (cisplatin) resulted in preservation of nerve blood flow and prevention of nerve deterioration.8