Purpose/Objectives: To measure the total amount of cyclophosphamide (CPA) excreted in the urine of patients with cancer and their cohabitating family members seven days after CPA administration.
Design: Biological monitoring.
Setting: Home setting with outpatients receiving chemo-therapy.
Sample: 8 patients administered CPA, 10 cohabitating family members, and 10 control participants.
Methods: During the first seven days after CPA administration, urine samples were collected from the participants. The samples were analyzed for the unchanged form of CPA using gas chromatography in tandem with mass spectroscopy.
Main Research Variables: CPA levels.
Findings: CPA was detected in 112 of 276 patient urine samples. The last sample containing detectable CPA levels was collected after more than 48 hours in 63% of the patients, with a maximum length of five days post-treatment. In addition, 243 urine samples were collected from family members, and CPA was detected in the samples of five family members (17–252 ng per member). CPA was not detected in any control participants.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that family members in close contact with patients receiving CPA are at high risk for drug exposure as many as seven days post-treatment.
Implications for Nursing: Nurses should educate patients and their family members about preventing exposure to antineoplastic drugs in the home setting.