Commenced in January 2007
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Antineoplastic Drugs Related Abstracts

2 Occupational Exposure and Contamination to Antineoplastic Drugs of Healthcare Professionals in Mauritania

Authors: Antoine Villa, Moustapha Mohamedou, Florence Pilliere, Catherine Verdun-Esquer, Mathieu Molimard, Mohamed Sidatt Cheikh El Moustaph, Mireille Canal-Raffin


Context: In Mauritania, the activity of the National Center of Oncology (NCO) has steadily risen leading to an increase in the handling of antineoplastic drugs (AD) by healthcare professionals. In this context, the AD contamination of those professionals is a major concern for occupational physicians. It has been evaluated using biological monitoring of occupational exposure (BMOE). Methods: The intervention took place in 2015, in 2 care units, and evaluated nurses preparing and/or infusing AD and agents in charge of hygiene. Participants provided a single urine sample, at the end of the week, at the end of their shift. Five molecules were sought using specific high sensitivity methods (UHPLC-MS/MS) with very low limits of quantification (LOQ) (cyclophosphamide (CP), Ifosfamide (IF), methotrexate (MTX): 2.5ng/L; doxorubicin (Doxo): 10ng/L; α-fluoro-β-alanine (FBAL, 5-FU metabolite): 20ng/L). A healthcare worker was considered as 'contaminated' when an AD was detected at a urine concentration equal to or greater than the LOQ of the analytical method or at trace concentration. Results: Twelve persons participated (6 nurses, 6 agents in charge of hygiene). Twelve urine samples were collected and analyzed. The percentage of contamination was 66.6% for all participants (n=8/12), 100% for nurses (6/6) and 33% for agents in charge of hygiene (2/6). In 62.5% (n=5/8) of the contaminated workers, two to four of the AD were detected in the urine. CP was found in the urine of all contaminated workers. FBAL was found in four, MTX in three and Doxo in one. Only IF was not detected. Urinary concentrations (all drugs combined) ranged from 3 to 844 ng/L for nurses and from 3 to 44 ng/L for agents in charge of hygiene. The median urinary concentrations were 87 ng/L, 15.1 ng/L and 4.4 ng/L for FBAL, CP and MTX, respectively. The Doxo urinary concentration was found 218ng/L. Discussion: There is no current biological exposure index for the interpretation of AD contamination. The contamination of these healthcare professionals is therefore established by the detection of one or more AD in urine. These urinary contaminations are higher than the LOQ of the analytical methods, which must be as low as possible. Given the danger of AD, the implementation of corrective measures is essential for the staff. Biological monitoring of occupational exposure is the most reliable process to identify groups at risk, tracing insufficiently controlled exposures and as an alarm signal. These results show the necessity to educate professionals about the risks of handling AD and/or to care for treated patients.

Keywords: Contamination, Antineoplastic Drugs, Mauritania, biological monitoring of occupational exposure

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1 Proposals for the Practical Implementation of the Biological Monitoring of Occupational Exposure for Antineoplastic Drugs

Authors: Mireille Canal-Raffin, Nadege Lepage, Antoine Villa


Context: Most antineoplastic drugs (AD) have a potential carcinogenic, mutagenic and/or reprotoxic effect and are classified as 'hazardous to handle' by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Their handling increases with the increase of cancer incidence. AD contamination from workers who handle AD and/or care for treated patients is, therefore, a major concern for occupational physicians. As part of the process of evaluation and prevention of chemical risks for professionals exposed to AD, Biological Monitoring of Occupational Exposure (BMOE) is the tool of choice. BMOE allows identification of at-risk groups, monitoring of exposures, assessment of poorly controlled exposures and the effectiveness and/or wearing of protective equipment, and documenting occupational exposure incidents to AD. This work aims to make proposals for the practical implementation of the BMOE for AD. The proposed strategy is based on the French good practice recommendations for BMOE, issued in 2016 by 3 French learned societies. These recommendations have been adapted to occupational exposure to AD. Results: AD contamination of professionals is a sensitive topic, and the BMOE requires the establishment of a working group and information meetings within the concerned health establishment to explain the approach, objectives, and purpose of monitoring. Occupational exposure to AD is often discontinuous and 2 steps are essential upstream: a study of the nature and frequency of AD used to select the Biological Exposure Indice(s) (BEI) most representative of the activity; a study of AD path in the institution to target exposed professionals and to adapt medico-professional information sheet (MPIS). The MPIS is essential to gather the necessary elements for results interpretation. Currently, 28 urinary specific BEIs of AD exposure have been identified, and corresponding analytical methods have been published: 11 BEIs were AD metabolites, and 17 were AD. Results interpretation is performed by groups of homogeneous exposure (GHE). There is no threshold biological limit value of interpretation. Contamination is established when an AD is detected in trace concentration or in a urine concentration equal or greater than the limit of quantification (LOQ) of the analytical method. Results can only be compared to LOQs of these methods, which must be as low as possible. For 8 of the 17 AD BEIs, the LOQ is very low with values between 0.01 to 0.05µg/l. For the other BEIs, the LOQ values were higher between 0.1 to 30µg/l. Results restitution by occupational physicians to workers should be individual and collective. Faced with AD dangerousness, in cases of workers contamination, it is necessary to put in place corrective measures. In addition, the implementation of prevention and awareness measures for those exposed to this risk is a priority. Conclusion: This work is a help for occupational physicians engaging in a process of prevention of occupational risks related to AD exposure. With the current analytical tools, effective and available, the (BMOE) to the AD should now be possible to develop in routine occupational physician practice. The BMOE may be complemented by surface sampling to determine workers' contamination modalities.

Keywords: Antineoplastic Drugs, urine, occupational exposure, biological monitoring of occupational exposure, biological exposure indice

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