Cytogenetic assessment of occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents

Pamela Eckerman Harris, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This study has evaluated the utility of measuring effects of low level occupational exposure of nursing personnel to antineoplastic agents. The effect measured in this study is chromosomal damage in peripheral lymphocytes (chromosomal breakage and micronuclei frequency). Using nursing personnel in three exposure classifications (low, moderate and high) and breast cancer patients before and after treatment with antineoplastic agents, a weak but statistically significant association was found between exposure and chromosomal damage. Of special interest was the finding that consistent glove usage was negatively associated with increased chromosomal damage. The study also demonstrated a statistically significant association between the two measures of chromosomal damage: chromosomal breakage and micronuclei frequency. This suggests that the micronucleus method is a useful test for studying cytogenetic effects in lymphocytes.

Subject Area

Public health|Pharmacology

Recommended Citation

Harris, Pamela Eckerman, "Cytogenetic assessment of occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents" (1988). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9020184.