Zaltrap is a part of an antibody that is designed to bind to and block vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PLGF). VEGF and PLGF are naturally occurring human proteins that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. These blood vessels supply colorectal cancer tumors with nutrients.
By binding to VEGF and PLGF, Zaltrap inhibits blood supply to the colorectal tumors, which can help to slow down tumor growth. However, this medication does not cure colorectal cancer.
Is It Safe for Children to Use Zaltrap?
Zaltrap is not approved for use in children (usually defined as individuals younger than 18 years old), as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the particular risks and benefits of using this medicine in children.
Can Older Adults Use It?
Older adults can use this medicine. However, clinical studies have shown that older adults are more likely than younger age groups to experience certain Zaltrap side effects, such as:
Older adults who receive this medicine should be carefully monitored for diarrhea and dehydration.
Off-Label Zaltrap Uses
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medication for something other than the uses discussed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are no well-accepted off-label uses for this medicine. Although Zaltrap has been studied for the treatment of other types of cancer, including prostate, lung, and pancreatic cancer, it was found to be ineffective for these uses.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) news release. FDA approves Zaltrap for metastatic colorectal cancer. Available at http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm314372.htm. Accessed October 4, 2012.
Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series [Internet database]. Greenwood Village, Colo: Thomson Reuters (Healthcare), Inc. Updated periodically. Accessed October 4, 2012.
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