Antitumor agents are used in therapy against many forms of human cancer. One of these is mitomycin-C (MMC). As with many agents, it can interact with biological molecules and can induce genetic hazards in non-tumor cells. One of the possible approaches to protect DNA from this damage is to supply antioxidants that can remove free radicals produced by antitumor agents. Lipoic acid (LA) is known as one of the most powerful antioxidants. The aim of this study was to investigate antigenotoxic effects of LA against MMC induced chromosomal aberrations (CA), sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) and micronucleus (MN) formation in human lymphocytes. Lymphocytes were treated with 0.2 mu g MMC/heparinized mL for 48 h. Three different concentrations (0.5, 1, 2 mu g/mL) of LA were used together with MMC in three different applications; 1 h pre-treatment, simultaneous treatment and 1 h post-treatment. A negative, a positive and a solvent control were also included. In all the cultures treated with MMC + LA, the frequency of abnormal cells and CA/cell significantly decreased compared to MMC. Statistically significant reduction was also observed in SCE/cell and MN frequencies in all treatments. These results demonstrated anticlastogenic and antimutagenic effects of LA against MMC induced genotoxicity. LA showed the most efficient effect during 1 h pretreatment. On the other hand, MMC + LA treatments induced significant reduction in mitotic index than that of MMC treatment alone. These results are encouraging that LA can be a possible chemopreventive agent in tumorigenesis in both cancer patients and in health care persons handling anti-cancer drugs.