Evaluating oxidative stress biomarkers in oncology nurses exposed to antineoplastic drugs: A cross-sectional study

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2024 Apr:69:102536. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2024.102536. Epub 2024 Feb 17.


Purpose: Antineoplastic drugs (ADs) are widely used in cancer treatment. Nurses in chemotherapy centers are exposed to these drugs during preparation. They can affect healthy cells, leading to teratogenic and mutagenic effects, as well as oxidative stress. This study aimed to evaluate oxidative stress biomarkers in the nurses exposed to these drugs.

Method: This study was conducted on 30 nurses exposed to ADs and 30 nurses with no exposure to these drugs as non-exposed group. Oxidative stress biomarkers were measured in the blood serum samples of both groups, including malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and blood thiol groups.

Results: Considering the possibility of confounding effect of nutritional supplement consumption, the effect of this factor was adjusted in the analysis. A significant difference was observed for CAT, SOD, thiol, and TAC biomarkers between two groups (P < 0.05). However, the difference in MDA and GPx biomarkers between two groups was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: The findings of the present study showed that supplement consumption has a significant effect on the biomarker of total antioxidant capacity. Thus, total antioxidant capacity measurement is advised as the best biomarker for tracking oxidative status in nurses exposed to ADs due to its capacity to measure all antioxidants in the body, except the thiol group, and its lower cost when compared to other biomarkers. Furthermore, it can be claimed that the consumption of nutritional supplements has a greater effect on the non-enzymatic biomarkers of oxidative stress than on enzymatic antioxidant system.

Keywords: Antineoplastic agents; Biomarkers; Nurses; Oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants* / analysis
  • Antioxidants* / metabolism
  • Antioxidants* / pharmacology
  • Biomarkers
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / pharmacology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds