Biological monitoring of hospital personnel occupationally exposed to antineoplastic agents

Roberta Turci, Cristina Sottani, Anna Ronchi, Claudio Minoia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To detect trace amounts of urinary cyclophosphamide (CP), ifosfamide (IF) and methotrexate (MTX), sensitive and specific high-performance liquid chromatography/ tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) procedures, incorporating either liquid-liquid (for CP and IF), or solid-phase, extraction (for MTX) have been developed. Urinary platinum (Pt) was also detected using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). These methods showed acceptable imprecision and inaccuracy. The limit of detection (LOD) was 50 ng/l for CP and IF, 200 ng/l for MTX and 1 ng/l for Pt. Biomonitoring was performed on two consecutive days on nine subjects preparing, and seven administering, antineoplastic drugs. Urine was collected at the beginning, at the end and during the work shift. Eighteen urine samples were positive for CP (range: 50-10 031 ng/l), whereas IF was detected in one subject only (153 ng/l). LOD was never exceeded for MTX. In urine samples from nurses and pharmacy technicians, Pt was detected in three subjects (range 920-1300 ng/l). These findings were compared with the results from a previous survey carried out in the same hospital when different work practices were in use. The proposed methods are simple, fast and reliable and can be used to identify exposure of hospital personnel handling antineoplastic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2002


  • Antineoplastic agents
  • Biological monitoring
  • Inductively coupled plasma
  • Liquid chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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