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Genotoxicity is an important information that should be included in human biomonitoring programmes. However, the usually applied cytogenetic assays are laborious and time-consuming, reason why it is critical to develop rapid and economic new methods. The aim of this study was to evaluate if the molecular profile of frozen whole blood, acquired by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, allows to assess genotoxicity in occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs, as obtained by the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay. For that purpose, 92 samples of peripheral blood were studied: 46 samples from hospital professionals occupationally exposed to antineoplastic drugs and 46 samples from workers in academia without exposure (controls). It was first evaluated the metabolome from frozen whole blood by methanol precipitation of macromolecules as haemoglobin, followed by centrifugation. The metabolome molecular profile resulted in 3 ratios of spectral bands, significantly different between the exposed and non-exposed group (p < 0.01) and a spectral principal component-linear discriminant analysis (PCA-LDA) model enabling to predict genotoxicity from exposure with 73 % accuracy. After optimization of the dilution degree and solution used, it was possible to obtain a higher number of significant ratios of spectral bands, i.e., 10 ratios significantly different (p < 0.001), highlighting the high sensitivity and specificity of the method. Indeed, the PCA-LDA model, based on the molecular profile of whole blood, enabled to predict genotoxicity from the exposure with an accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of 92 %, 93 % and 91 %, respectively. All these parameters were achieved based on 1 μL of frozen whole blood, in a high-throughput mode, i.e., based on the simultaneous analysis of 92 samples, in a simple and economic mode. In summary, it can be conclude that this method presents a very promising potential for high-dimension screening of exposure to genotoxic substances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number503681
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Antineoplastics
  • Cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus assay
  • Frozen blood
  • FTIR-spectroscopy
  • Genotoxicity
  • Molecular profile


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