Evaluation of the interest of automatisation in the management of cytotoxic production

6 October 2017

S. Perriat , H. Argueil, A. Martel, A. Fontan, C. Morel, Y. Cretu, F. Puisset, J-M. Canonge Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse - Oncopôle - 1 avenue Irène Joliot Curie 31100 Toulouse - France


Following the French health authorities recommendation to suspend the use of docetaxel in breast cancer, our cytotoxic preparation unit needed to be able to increase its paclitaxel preparations’ production. This increase activity occurred simultaneously with the daily use of doses banding preparations performed in an automat. This was an opportunity to evaluate the productivity gain brought by automation.

Material and Method

The growth of paclitaxel preparation activity was evaluated by comparing the CHIMIO® data 3 months before the authorities’ decision and 3 months later. The productivity was evaluated by comparing the average time required to perform a 16 bags batch with the automat compared to a manual preparation according to the Wilcoxon test, and by estimating the time overload of work induced by these preparations.


Weekly prescriptions and preparations of paclitaxel increased of 76% after February 2017.
The average preparation time of 16 bags was 53 minutes for an automatized run against 90 minutes by manually (p <0.001). The increase production represented 3 batches per week made by the automat, ie 2h30 of preparation time meanwhile the equivalent manual production would have required 3h30.


Automation allowed us to absorb this activity increase with constant team, while limiting muscular difficulties that could have been generated. Hanks to this evolution of our production, we will progressively be able to perform one sequence of batches after the other and therefore optimize the time available for the automated preparations.

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