Technological watch

Environmental Remediation of Antineoplastic Drugs: Present Status, Challenges, and Future Directions

The global burden of cancer is on the rise, and as a result, the number of therapeutics administered for chemotherapy is increasing. The occupational exposure, recalcitrant nature and ecotoxicological toxicity of these therapeutics, referred to as antineoplastic (ANP) drugs, have raised concerns about their safe remediation. This review provides an overview of the environmental source of ANPs agents, with emphasis on the currently used remediation approaches. Outpatient excreta, hospital effluents, and waste from pharmaceutical industries are the primary source of ANP waste. The current review describes various biotic and abiotic methods used in the remediation of ANP drugs in the environment. Abiotic methods often generate transformation products (TPs) of unknown toxicity. In this light, obtaining data on the environmental toxicity of ANPs and its TPs is crucial to determine their toxic effect on the ecosystem. We also discuss the biodegradation of ANP drugs using monoculture of fungal and bacterial species, and microbial consortia in sewage treatment plants. The current review effort further explores a safe and sustainable approach for ANP waste treatment to replace existing chemical and oxidation intensive treatment approaches. To conclude, we assess the possibility of integrating biotic and abiotic methods of ANP drug degradation.

Publication date: 27/06/2020

Author: Abhilash Kumar Tripathi

Reference: doi: 10.3390/pr8070747

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.