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Mutat Res. 2001 Oct 18;497(1-2):101-9.

The genotoxic risk of hospital, pharmacy and medical personnel occupationally exposed to cytostatic drugs--evaluation by the micronucleus assay.

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  • 1Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Ziemssenstr. 1, 80336, München, Germany.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxicity of cytostatic drugs in hospital and pharmacy employees (n=100), occupationally exposed. The micronucleus assay was used to study lymphocytes in 247 peripheral blood samples. Samples were collected at "baseline level" without any cytostatic drugs exposure before recruiting or after at least 3 weeks without cytostatic drugs contact and at three times (cycle 1-3) post-exposure. Samples from 60 office employees served as controls. Furthermore, our results were compared to urinary analyses of cytostatic drugs (oxazaphosporines, anthracyclines, platinum) which were collected in parallel to the cytogenetic investigation. Statistical analyses were performed under consideration of age, gender and X-ray exposure. The frequency of micronuclei was significantly related to the age of the subjects (r(Spearman)=0.16; P<0.05). However, there were no significant differences in micronucleus rates between controls and exposed hospital workers. Similarly, micronucleus rates were not significantly different at the various sampling time points and there was no correlation between duration of employment and micronucleus rates. Furthermore, no correlation between current biomonitoring data of exposure (urine tests) and micronuclei frequency was found. Therefore, significantly increased genotoxic damage of the lymphocytes investigated in this study could not be demonstrated.

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