The concept of manipulation of the vascular bed to either increase or
decrease the number of blood vessels has attracted considerable interest.
This review focuses on angiogenesis as a therapeutic target, particularly
in the context of cancer and arthritis, as well as on promoting angiogenesis
in cardiovascular disease and the healing of bone fractures. Although once
touted almost as a panacea for treatment of tumors, as well as other diseases
associated with angiogenesis, such as diabetic retinopathy or rheumatoid arthritis,
it is now clear that such enthusiasm was somewhat premature. Similarly, some
clinical trials of therapeutic angiogenesis for the management of cardiovascular
disease have been disappointing. Nevertheless, this exciting field of research
holds promise for more targeted therapies.