Generally, the actinomycins exert an inhibitory effect on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and on some fungi. However, the toxic properties of the actinomycins (including dactinomycin) in relation to antibacterial activity are such as to preclude their use as antibiotics in the treatment of infectious diseases.
Because the actinomycins are cytotoxic, they have an antineoplastic effect which has been demonstrated in experimental animals with various types of tumor implants. This cytotoxic action is the basis for their use in the treatment of certain types of cancer. Dactinomycin is believed to produce its cytotoxic effects by binding DNA and inhibiting RNA synthesis
Dactinomycin, as part of a combination chemotherapy and/or multi-modality treatment regimen, is indicated for the treatment of Wilms’ tumor, childhood rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma and metastatic, nonseminomatous testicular cancer.
Dactinomycin is indicated as a single agent, or as part of a combination chemotherapy regimen, for the treatment of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia.
Dactinomycin, as a component of regional perfusion, is indicated for the palliative and/or adjunctive treatment of locally recurrent or locoregional solid malignancies.