Background Although the therapeutic effect of antineoplastic drugs is incontestable, these agents can also potentially act as carcinogens, mutagens and/or teratogens in people. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs on DNA damage, assessed by the comet assay and cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay, in nurses.
Methods The cross-sectional study enrolled 305 nursing staff members from 7 public hospitals in Shenzhen who handled antineoplastic drugs, and 150 healthy nursing staff members who were not exposed to antineoplastic drugs as the control group. DNA damage was assessed by the comet and CBMN assay. Multiple linear regressions and logistic regressions models were used to analyse the effect of occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs on DNA damage.
Results After adjustment for confounding factors, compared with non-exposure to antineoplastic drugs, exposure to antineoplastic drugs was positively related to tail moment, olive moment, tail length and tail DNA per cent, and adjusted β or OR (95% CI) was 0.17 (0.08 to 0.26), 0.18 (0.10 to 0.27), 1.03 (0.47 to 1.60) and 1.16 (1.04 to 1.29) (all p<0.05). Moreover, similar significant relationships were observed for the biomarkers of the CBMN assay. Additionally, other than age, there was no interaction between antineoplastic drug exposure and other variables for the levels of biomarkers of the CBMN assay and the comet assay.
Conclusions The present results showed that exposure to antineoplastic drugs was positively related to the risk of DNA damage in nurses. The results imply that occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents is an important global public health problem that requires urgent attention.
- occupational health
- DNA damage
- environmental exposure
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request. Data cannot be made publicly available because public availability would compromise participant privacy. For data access, researchers can contact the Longgang District Central Hospital of Shenzhen, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.