Gene therapy during angioplasty improves blood flow

In the first study of its kind, researchers show that gene therapy given during angioplasty is safe and improves blood flow to the heart muscle more than angioplasty alone, according to a report in a recent rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The trial is the first to transfer copies of the gene for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) into the arteries of heart patients during angioplasty. It’s also the first human study that compared two different approaches to inserting the gene into heart cells.

Melanoma discovery could aid diagnosis, treatment

Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a signaling pathway that is turned on when benign moles turn into early-stage malignant melanoma. The pathway could provide a new target for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the most lethal form of skin cancer. The research was reported in the December issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research.