Used to treat a certain type of pancreatic cancer, streptozocin (Zanosar®) is given as an injection by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting. This prescription chemotherapy drug is approved for treating pancreatic islet cell cancer. It is reserved for use in people who are having symptoms or who have cancer that has spread to other areas of the body (metastasized) and is continuing to progress.
Streptozocin is a type of alkylating agent and works by preventing DNA strands from separating, which is necessary for them to replicate. By preventing this replication of DNA, this drug can help prevent cancer cells from growing and multiplying.
On occasion, a healthcare provider may prescribe streptozocin to treat other forms of cancer, such as Hodgkin's disease, colorectal cancer, or metastatic carcinoid tumors; however, these are unapproved ("off-label") uses for the medication.
(Click What Is Streptozocin Used For? to learn more about using this drug to treat various forms of cancer. This article offers information on how streptozocin works, what it is used to treat, and whether it is safe for children.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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