Background: The risk of toxicity for the healthy individuals who are chronically exposed
to cytostatic drugs was established in 1970s. Since then, many institutions have recommended
monitoring occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of
analytical procedures for this inspection. The prodrug Capecitabine is an example of a cytostatic
drug that has never been analyzed for the purpose of occupational exposure inspection. Thus, the
objective of the present study was to develop a suitable protocol for its evaluation on workplace
Methods: The determination of the surface residue of Capecitabine has been carried out in a laboratory
setting through аn HPLC-UV method, preceded by an appropriate sample preparation procedure,.
It was used for the pre-and post-cleaning analysis of wipe samples from several working
sites, which are assessed as the most likely ones for the occurrence of dermal contact with the prodrug.
Results: The applied HPLC-UV method was assessed as accurate and precise, with an established
limit of quantification of 0.05 μg/mL. The analytical procedure provided a recovery of Capecitabine
of more than 90%. During the analytical protocol approbation, one surface sample containing
Capecitabine was detected. To determine the efficiency of routine hygiene measures, wipe samples
from all tested surfaces were analyzed after a cleaning procedure. However, the cytostatic presence
was not determined on any area, including the area that gave a positive result.
Conclusion: The analytical protocol developed here successfully permits, for the first time, to
study the surface contamination with the cytotoxic agent, Capecitabine. Due to this, it can be concluded
that the proposed method could be useful for institutions where a potential risk of contamination
to the prodrug exists.