Too much plaque in the arteries is a dangerous thing. It can inhibit blood flow and lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD). The extreme form of PAD, known as critical limb ischemia, can cause extreme pain, sores and wounds that won't heal in the legs and feet. Left untreated, doctors are often left with only one life-saving option: amputation.
But doctors at Rush University Medical Center believe amputations in these situations can be avoided. That's why interventional cardiologists at Rush are studying an innovative, investigational new approach designed to promote new blood vessel growth in the legs of patients with critical leg ischemia. In the Therapeutic Angiogenesis for the Management of Arteriosclerosis in a Randomized International Study (TAMARIS), doctors will inject genes into the legs to induce the production of a protein called fibroblast growth factor (FGF-1), which stimulates the growth of blood vessels at the site of the injection. The additional blood vessels will carry more blood into the legs, alleviating pain and healing ulcers.
"At this time there are no prescription drugs available to effectively treat critical limb ischemia, and there are limited treatments available that will delay or prevent amputation," says Jeffrey Snell, MD, the study's principal investigator and interventional cardiologist at Rush.
During the 12-month study, participants will receive four injections of the gene therapy or a placebo (an inactive substance that is used in experiments testing the efficacy of another substance) into the leg muscle at two-week intervals. Qualified participants will receive all study-related care at no cost.
For more information about this study, contact Christina Giannoulis, certified clinical research coordinator, at (312) 942-9489.
More Information at Your Fingertips:
- For more information on participating in research studies at Rush University Medical Center, see the clinical trials section of the Rush Web site.
- For information on heart care at Rush visit the Heart and Vascular Programs home page.
- Looking for information on other health topics? Visit our Health Information home page.
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Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.
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