Dactinomycin, or Actinomycin D

Dactinomycin, or Actinomycin D

This patient-friendly article is about chemotherapy drug, Dactinomycin (or Actinomycin D) is a chemotherapy agent used principally to treat sarcomas, Wilm’s tumour, germ cell cancers, testicular cancer, melanoma and choriocarcinoma; it is also used in the treatment of children’s cancer.  It is an anti-tumour antibiotic that works by binding itself to the cancer cells’ DNA so it cannot divide and grow. Dactinomycin is generally administered intravenously.

It is sometimes used as a sensitiser prior to radiotherapy.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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Side effects can include: fatigue, increased risk of infections, anaemia causing tiredness and breathlessness, bruising and bleeding, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, mouth sores, hair loss and diarrhoea. It can cause cell death around the injection site. Wikipedia states that most people develop side-effects with this drug.

It is an old drug, and was approved by the FDA in 1964.

Go to: 10 ways to improve your chemotherapy success and reduce side-effects

Other articles that you may find interesting are:

  1. A diet for Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy overview
  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

Go to: Return to the CANCERactive drug list


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