Cancer Drug Zaltrap Potential to Overcome Diabetes

Besides being used for the treatment of cancer, Zaltrap (aflibercept) is also potentially have benefits to cope with diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The researchers say they have identified a molecular pathway or series among protein interactions involved in the development of diabetes. And it turns out, the pathway can be regulated by the cancer drug Zaltrap.

Zaltrap is a drug that has been approved in the United States and several other countries to treat advanced colorectal cancer and macular degeneration of the wet type. This drug can inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor pathway (VEGF) that blocks the growth of blood vessels in the tumor cells. This is what makes the cells become starved of oxygen and eventually die.

Once identified, the researchers found there are certain series that connects the inhibitor protein VEGF and blood sugar levels.

Researchers study, Amato Giaccia, professor of cancer biology and director of radiation oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine said, proteins involved in this pathway can be used as a target for the development of new therapeutic treatment of diabetes.

"We were surprised by the finding that a drug commonly used for cancer proved to have beneficial effects on diabetes," said another researcher, Dr. Calvin Kuo, professor of medicine at the same university.

Nevertheless, he added, this study was conducted in mice and often failed the test in humans. Therefore, more research is needed to confirm it.

The researchers say, VEGF inhibitors as indicated Zaltrap can affect blood sugar levels, but there is no proof through research on humans.