From Dog

Actinomycin D (Dactinomycin) is an antineoplastic antibiotic used for chemotherapy with anal sac adenocarcinoma, thyroid carcinoma and nephroblastoma.

It is also used as a rescue remedy for treatment of resistant lymphoma[1] in combination with other drugs such as dacarbazine[2].

Actinomycin D is a protein (RNA transcription) synthesis inhibitor with numerous side-effects, particularly thrombocytopenia which have limited its use.

Actinomycin-D is an antitumor antibiotic with a mechanism of action similar to that of doxorubicin[3]. Unlike doxorubicin, actinomycin-D is relatively inexpensive and has not been associated with cardiac toxicoses.

The efficacy of actinomycin-D as a single agent in the treatment of lymphoma has received limited evaluation[4], but used as a sole chemotherapy drug has shown some benefits, with prolonged survival in some cases.

Recommended dose in dogs is 0.7 - 0.9 mg/m2 every 3 weeks intravenously.


  1. Bannink EO et al (2008) Actinomycin D as rescue therapy in dogs with relapsed or resistant lymphoma: 49 cases (1999--2006). J Am Vet Med Assoc 233(3):446-451
  2. Dervisis NG et al (2007) Efficacy of temozolomide or dacarbazine in combination with an anthracycline for rescue chemotherapy in dogs with lymphoma. J Am Vet Med Assoc 231(4):563-569
  3. Stewart CF, Ratain MJ. (1997) Topoisomerase interactive agents. In: DeVita Jr VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds. Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology. vol. 1. Philiadelpia: Lippincott-Raven, pp:452–465
  4. Khanna C, et al (1998) Randomized controlled trial of doxorubicin versus dactinomycin in a multiagent protocol for treatment of dogs with malignant lymphoma. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213:985–990