Chromosomal aberrations, sister chromatid exchanges, and micronuclei in lymphocytes of oncology department personnel handling anti-neoplastic drugs

Objective: Concern exists regarding the possible hazards to the personnel handling anti-neoplastic drugs. The purpose of the present study was to assess the genotoxicity induced by anti-neoplastic agents in oncology department personnel. Materials and methods: To do this, the frequency of chromosomal aberrations (CAs) induced in peripheral blood lymphocytes was assessed at G0 phase of the cell cycle using metaphase analysis, cytokinesis block-micronucleus (MN) assay and sister chromatid exchange (SCE) assay. These cytogenetic end points were measured among 71 nurses in oncology department and 10 drugstore personnel handling and preparing anti-neoplastic drugs. The results were compared to those of 74 matched nurses for age and sex not exposed to any anti-neoplastic agents. Results: There was no significant difference between the age of study subjects and control group (p > 0.05). The results showed that the mean frequency of cytogenetic damages in terms of CAs [chromatid breaks (p = 0.01), chromosome breaks (p = 0.005), total CAs (p = 0.001)], MN formation (p = 0.001), and SCE (p = 0.004) in lymphocytes of personnel handling anti-neoplastic drugs were significantly higher than those in control unexposed group. Conclusion: Results of the present study demonstrate the cytogenetic damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes of oncology department personnel. Suitable training and proper knowledge when handling anti-neoplastic drugs are emphasized to avoid potential health hazards caused by cytostatic agents.

Source: Mahmoodi, Majid, Soleyman-Jahi, Saeed, Zendehdel, Kazem, Mozdarani, Hossein, Azimi, Cyrus, Farzanfar, Farideh,... Rezaei, Nima. (2017). Drug and Chemical Toxicology, 40(2), 235-240.

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