Also Known As: Streptozotocin, Zanosar
Streptozotocin (Streptozocin, STZ, Zanosar) is a naturally occurring chemical that is particularly toxic to the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas in mammals. It is used in medicine for treating certain cancers of the Islets of Langerhans and used in medical research to produce an animal model for Type 1 diabetes.
Streptozotocin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating metastatic cancer of the pancreatic islet cells. Since it carries a substantial risk of toxicity and rarely cures the cancer, its use is generally limited to patients whose cancer cannot be removed by surgery. In these patients, streptozotocin can reduce the tumor size and reduce symptoms (especially hypoglycemia due to excessive insulin secretion by insulinomas). A typical dose is 500 mg/m2/day by intravenous injection, for 5 days, repeated every 4-6 weeks.
Due to its high toxicity to beta cells, in scientific researches, streptozotocin has also been long used for inducing insulitis and diabetes on experimental animals.