The notion of using angiogenesis to treat cardiovascular conditions such as peripheral artery disease treads a fine line between therapy and malignancy because several disease conditions are associated with angiogenesis.

In atherosclerosis, for example, angiogenesis occurs during the formation of plaques. Last week, scientists at Stanford University and the World Health Organization published in Nature Medicine that low doses of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an angiogenesis inducer, resulted in increased plaque formation and increased endothelial cell content of plaque in mouse and rabbit models of the disease.