Zaltrap is prescribed to treat colorectal cancer in adults. It is specifically used when the cancer has spread to other areas of the body and has not responded to other types of treatment. This chemotherapy medicine works to slow down the progression of cancer by cutting off blood supply to the colorectal tumors. There are no off-label uses for Zaltrap at this time.
Zaltrap® (ziv-aflibercept) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer occurs when cancerous cells form in the colon (the large intestine) or the rectum (the end of the colon). It may also be referred to as colon cancer, rectal cancer, or bowel cancer.
There is no one cause of colon cancer, and no way to predict who will get the disease. However, certain factors can increase the likelihood that a person will develop it. For example, the risk for colorectal cancer increases with age. Other risk factors include:
- A family history of colorectal cancer
- Certain medical conditions
- A history of polyps (see Risk Factors for Colon Cancer).
Colon polyps are growths on the inner wall of the large intestine. Most are benign, meaning they are not cancerous, and not dangerous. However, over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancer. The vast majority of colon cancers started as noncancerous polyps.
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. It is also a leading cause of cancer-related death. However, early detection improves the chances of successful treatment. For this reason, healthcare providers recommend regular screening for colorectal cancer (see Colorectal Cancer Screening). Screening is used to identify noncancerous polyps before they become cancerous.
The type of treatment a person receives for colorectal cancer depends largely on how far the disease has progressed (see Colon Cancer Stages). In general, treatment options include:
- Radiation therapy
(Click Colorectal Cancer Treatment to read more detailed information about these treatment options.)
Zaltrap is specifically approved to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other areas of the body (metastasized) and has progressed or has not adequately responded after treatment with a chemotherapy regimen that included a medication known as oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®). It is used in combination with FOLFIRI. FOLFIRI is a standard chemotherapy regimen that includes the following medicines: