Dactinomycin: An Old Chemotherapy API with New Demand

Dactinomycin: An Old Chemotherapy API with New Demand


Dactinomycin: CAS No: 50-76-0 No: 50-76-0


Dactinomycin (or actinomycin D) was the very first known antibiotic that helped fend off cancer. It’s now a standard chemotherapy medication being used to treat a variety of tumorous diseases. Doctors will typically reach for dactinomycin for sarcoma, ovarian cancer, and Wilm’s tumor.  It can also be used with certain types of neoplasia and skin moles. The API appears to work by getting in the way of standard protein synthesis in RNA, which makes it more difficult for the harmful cells to multiply and spread. First approved for use in US in 1964, the API can only be produced with the help of the bacteria Streptomyces parvullus.

Inhibiting Transcription

The available cell biology research shows that dactinomycin can limit transcription by attaching itself to the DNA/RNA and stopping its replication process. If the cells are unable to grow by way of cell division, then the tumors have no other option than to halt their growth. The body may be able to limit the number of healthy cells it produces based on circumstances, but a tumor can proliferate extremely quickly because it doesn’t follow the same cell division rules as human cells do. As dactinomycin damages the tumor cells, it will either prevent the cells from dividing or induce outright apoptosis. This API works best on cancer cells that are dividing rapidly, as there are more chances that it can attach and destroy.

Increased Demand

Dactinomycin may not be a new API, but the market predicts the global demand for it will grow in the near future. Research shows that treatment markets for diseases such as testicular cancer and Wilm’s Tumor will continue to rely upon the medication as a primary line of defense against tumors. Even rhabdomyosarcoma, a relatively rare condition that affects four of every million children, is expected to contribute to the growth of this effective API. The fuel for this demand partially stems from the developing world, as more people become more aware of available treatments for common types of cancer. While government regulations and direct costs may keep this API from reaching its full potential, the overall use of dactinomycin is expected to rise.

Intended Use and Side Effects

Dactinomycin is a liquid given via injection, and it can be combined with other kinds of chemotherapy drugs, such as vincristine. Along with inhibiting cell growth, the API can also make cancerous cells more susceptible to radiation. In terms of side effects, dactinomycin will work to inhibit the growth of tumor cells, but it will unfortunately also work to inhibit the growth of healthy cells as well. When a cancer patient is going through their treatment, they may experience cell death in their mouth, hair follicles, blood, bone marrow, or intestines. The most common side effects are consistent with other types of chemotherapy drugs and include anything from nausea to mouth sores to hair loss.

LGM Pharma

LGM Pharma is an innovation-driven API company, involved in the distribution of quality cGMP pharma ingredients to leading pharmaceutical companies. We specialize in streamlining the API supply chain management throughout all development and commercial stages while providing complete technical capabilities, expert regulatory support as well as other value-added services.






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