Dec 1, 1992

Leukaemia and reproductive outcome among nurses handling antineoplastic drugs

British Journal of Industrial Medicine
T SkovE Lynge

Abstract

During the past decades conclusive evidence has accumulated that alkylating antineoplastic drugs (ADs) can cause cancer, most notably acute non-lymphocytic leukaemia, and that most ADs are reprotoxic. Studies on health workers handling ADs have shown significantly increased risks for miscarriages (two studies) and malformations (two studies). The present study monitored the risk for cancer and adverse reproductive outcome among Danish nurses handling ADs. No increased risks were found for miscarriages, malformations, low birth weight, or preterm birth among the offspring of nurses handling ADs during pregnancy. The sex ratio was normal. The relative risk (RR) for leukaemia was significantly increased (10.65) but based on only two cases, one of acute myeloblastic and one of chronic myeloid leukaemia. From the available exposure data occupational exposures to ADs were apparently higher in the studies that have reported increased risks for miscarriages and malformations than in the present one. Regarding reproductive outcome the study gives some confidence that the safety measures which were implemented in the oncology departments around 1980 can protect the health personnel against adverse effects of ADs on reproduction. As the s...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Antineoplastic Agents
Incidence Studies
Abortion, Tubal
Gestational Age
Sex Ratio
Occupational Exposure
Myeloid Leukemia, Chronic
Leukemia
Substance-Related Disorders
Abnormalities, Drug-Induced

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