Syringe of Adriamycin prepared for use. December 17, 2009 (photo: Brian J. Matis / Flickr) - Credit: Syringe of Adriamycin prepared for use. December 17, 2009 (photo: Brian J. Matis / Flickr)
Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 18:19
Cancer treatment causes cancer in healthcare workers: Health council
Healthcare workers and researchers who come into contact with chemotherapy drug Adriamycin could face a higher risk of cancer. The dangers of occupational exposure to the medication was published as a .pdf file Wednesday by the Dutch Health Council (Gezondheidsraad). Adriamycin is used as a cancer medication, and is administered in chemotherapy. Workers involved in production and disposal of the compound, as well as those who administer the drug have a higher likelihood of developing cancer, the council said in a statement. "In this report, the Committee concludes that adriamycin is a carcinogenic substance with a stochastic genotoxic mechanism," the Gezondheidsraad researchers wrote. "The Committee is of the opinion that due to a lack of sufficient data, it is not possible to estimate the additional lifetime cancer risk for adriamycin," the report said. The Health Council hence recommends giving the compound a 1B classification. This category includes substances which have to be regarded ascarcinogenic to a human being. "Occupational exposure to adriamycin occurs via inhalation, dermal exposure or ingestion," the report continued. "The Committee did not find reliable data with regard to the present size of the exposed population," it said." "No occupational exposure limits have been established for adriamycin."