Given the growing number of cancer diseases, new cytostatic drugs are approved daily, often with concomitant development or refinement of some of these drugs aiming at decreasing patient discomfort during administration period (e.g. prodrugs). Classified as highly toxic, they represent a major environmental problem that may potentiate disease occurrences. For newer cytostatics and pro-drugs there are no (or few) reported effects to aquatic organisms, which constraints their prioritization.
In face of the points raised, the IonCytDevice project intended to bridge some of these knowledge gaps and has delivered very important benchmarks. Predictions have been obtained on the environmental impacts of three cytostatics (cyclophosphamide: CYP; 5-fluoroucil: 5-FU; and mycophenolic acid: MPA) and one prodrug (capecitabine: CAP) on freshwater biota, with focus on new species and endpoints likely to be framed in meta-analysis studies as well. The results revealed that, for now, CYP, 5-FU, and CAP (prodrug) pose no risk, whilst MPA was flagged as of high environmental risk.