Zaltrap is a chemotherapy drug licensed for the treatment of colorectal cancer that has spread to other areas of the body. This prescription medicine is given as a slow injection into a vein once every two weeks. It works to slow down tumor growth by inhibiting blood supply to the colorectal tumors. Side effects are common and include infections, diarrhea, and mouth sores.
Zaltrap® (ziv-aflibercept) is a prescription medication approved for use in combination with other drugs to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum). Metastatic cancer is cancer that has spread from its original site to other areas of the body.
Zaltrap is used in combination with the following medications:
- 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil®, Carac®, Efudex®, Fluoroplex®, also known as 5-FU)
- Irinotecan (Camptosar®).
It is intended for people whose tumors did not adequately respond to previous treatment that included oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®).
The active ingredient in Zaltrap is ziv-aflibercept, which was previously known simply as aflibercept. It is also the active ingredient in Eyelea® (aflibercept), which is a prescription eye medication used to treat macular degeneration.
Zaltrap is manufactured by sanofi-aventis U.S., LLC., and comarketed by sanofi-aventis and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Zaltrap is 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 medicine does not cure colorectal cancer.