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What Is Ziv-Aflibercept Used For?

Ziv-aflibercept is a chemotherapy medication prescribed to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, a form of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum and has spread to other areas of the body. This drug works by cutting off the blood supply to the cancerous tumors, which prevents them from growing. Ziv-aflibercept is approved for use in adults only.


An Overview of Uses for Ziv-Aflibercept

Ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap®) 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.

Ziv-Aflibercept Use for Treating Colorectal 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:
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). This 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:
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy.
(Click Colorectal Cancer Treatment to read more detailed information about these options.)
Ziv-aflibercept 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:
  • Leucovorin (sometimes called folinic acid) -- the "FOL" in FOLFIRI
  • 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil®, Carac®, Efudex®, Fluoroplex®, also known as 5-FU) -- the "F" in FOLFIRI
  • Irinotecan (Camptosar®) -- the "IRI" in FOLFIRI.
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Ziv-Aflibercept Medication Information

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