The validation of an analytical method for the measurement of the unnatural amino acid α-fluoro-β-alanine (AFBA), the main metabolite of the antineoplastic drug 5-fluorouracil (5FU), in urine for the biological monitoring of the exposure of hospital workers to the drug when preparing the therapeutical doses and administering to cancer patients is described. The method employed a two-step extractive derivatization of the analyte from urine to the N-trifluoroacety-n-butyl ester derivative and detection by selected-ion monitoring gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of structurally specific fragments. The limit of detection was 20 ng/mL with quantification accuracy better than ±20% and precision (CV%) better than ±20% in the range 0.020-10 μg/mL. Norleucine was used as the internal standard and the sample-to-sample analysis time was less than 15 min. The validated method has been applied to the biological monitoring of some hospital workers potentially exposed to SFU and to matched control subjects. On a total number of 65 analyzed urine samples from control and exposed subjects, only three, obtained from exposed subjects, were found to be positive, with values of 20, 30 and 1150 ng/mL, respectively.
- Biological monitoring
- Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
- Occupational exposure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)