Cytostatic drugs and risk of genotoxicity in health workers. A literature review


Objective: To analyse the genotoxic risk of cytostatic drugs in health professionals after occupational exposure.

Method: Literature was searched for the databases PubMed, Lilacs, The Cochrane Library and Scopus with free and controlled language (MeSH terms) using boolean operators AND and OR. The research was limited to articles published between 2005-2016.

Results: 11 articles were selected depending on their relevancy to this review’s aim. Nine of the 11 articles proved the existence of damage to genetic material (DNA) of health workers, who were exposed to cytostatics. Furthermore, current security practices do not eliminate the chance of exposure completely. Therefore, the creation of new clinical trials is required. Conclusions: Handling cytostatic drugs can cause a genotoxic risk to health workers who are exposed to these substances. This exposure may cause damage on the workers’ DNA. There are not enough data to prove a cause-effect relationship between the genotoxic risk and adverse reactions on individuals. Health education will be the main way to raise the awareness and prevention this problem.

Authors: Macarena Mateo González-Román, Patricia Paloma Hidalgo García, David Peña Otero
; Full Source: Enfermeria clinica (English Edition) Jul-Aug 2021;31(4):247-253. doi: 10.1016/j.enfcle.2019.07.004.