By Kathryn Calkins
Staff Writer

Within a few years, if all goes well, patients with heart disease could have an alternative to the invasive procedures that are the norm for many today. Researchers are publishing the first clinical results using growth factors to promote the growth of blood vessels surrounding the heart to circumvent blocked arteries in coronary artery disease. When administered directly to the heart, the factors tried in the clinic appear to induce a sustained response regardless of whether a gene or protein is given, or the method of administration.