Management of occupational risk associated with exposure to antineoplastic drugs : regional survey in health institutions with oncology activity

7 October 2016

M. Giovanelli1, B. Hombourger2, N. Fabié3 H. De Blander, S. Edet, S. Brahmi, A. Jacolot, M. Rigal, C. Padoin 1 Service Pharmacie, CHRU de Nancy, Allée du Morvan , 54511 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France
2 Service Pharmacie, Institut de Cancérologie de Lorraine, 6 Avenue de Bourgogne, 54519 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France
3 Réseau ONCOLOR, 6 Avenue de Bourgogne, 54519 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France Unité de Préparation et de Contrôle des Chimiothérapies anticancéreuses,
Pharmacie, Hôpital Avicenne, HUPSSD, AP-HP, Bobigny, France


Many guidelines exist to protect health care workers from adverse effects from occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs. However exposure continues and practices in hospitals are very different.


Our study consisted of an inventory of management practices of occupational risk associated with exposure to antineoplastic drugs in all regional health institutions, in relation to the regional cancer network.

Materials and Methods

We interviewed the most exposed professionals. A survey was submitted to pharmacists responsible for centralized chemotherapy preparation units, to managers of care services who administer chemotherapy and to occupational physicians of the 23 health institutions of the region with oncology activity.

Results / Discussion

A total of 91% of pharmacists, 56.5% of occupational physicians and 38% of care services responded. Some points in the management of risks associated with handling cytotoxic drugs are similar in all hospitals. However, there is a significant heterogeneity of practices between institutions and even within the same hospital on many topics such as staff training, management of cytotoxic waste, personal protective equipment... In order to improve practices, a methodology was developed to allow professionals involved in cytotoxic risk management to search themselves for needs and resolutions.


Harmonization of practices is still necessary, that’s why the regional cancer network continues to improve the management of risk cytotoxic including the development of regional training tools.

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