Thessaloniki: Innovative oncology treatments with robotic systems at Theageneio Hospital.

ρομποτικά συστήματα
Τα δύο ρομποτικά μηχανήματα που υπάρχουν μόνο στο ογκολογικό της Θεσσαλονίκης διασφαλίζουν τη σωστή χορήγηση των φαρμάκων και την ασφάλεια του προσωπικού.

Theagenio offers services to oncology patients, which is now equipped with two robotic machines for the dissolution of cytostatic drugs. The machines, which are the only ones in Greece, have been operating at the same time for a year at the "Nikos Kourkoulos" Day Care Center, providing precision in the dose of medicine administered to patients, absolute safety for the staff, but also a very significant economy in relation to the conventional method of chemotherapy. 

As the administrator of Theageneio, Mrs Liana Kourteli-Xouri, pointed out, the main innovation of the robotic system is that the dose of the patients' medicine is guaranteed 100%. "The preparation of the final preparations takes place inside the chambers with rigor, while the technicians and pharmacists are protected from cytotoxic substances, because no human hand enters. There is absolute traceability at all levels and operations and data are monitored in real time. That is, you see at any time and moment exactly what is happening and in case of an error the machine stops.We also have safer waste management, and in addition, robotics also manage new biological treatments for cancer patients. These two machines are something pioneering for Greece", he told

The two robotic machines that were installed in the center about a year apart, cost 1.5 million euros and were financed one by the Ministry of Health and the second by NSRF resources through the Region of Central Macedonia. Already, however, their costs have been fully amortized since last March. As Mrs. Kourteli-Xouri pointed out, in 2021 the total expenditure on the drug was 41.2 million euros, while between February 2022 and March 2023 the corresponding cost was 39.7 million euros, even though 1,500 more patients were served. This, she explained, is because by using the system there is better management of material and human resources.

Robotics is the future

The manufacture of the drug has strict specifications and is normally subject to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) procedures. The robotic systems, having all the automation and measuring-weighing systems, are compatible with these certifications. "The APOTECA Robotic Systems installed in Theageneio are compatible with GMP (GMP Compliant) procedures for the synthesis of oncology treatments, while they also have the ability to interface with all platforms/software of hospitals and clinics.The final drug of the cancer patient is a composition with the prescribed drugs, which have been dissolved, mixed and at all stages have been accurately measured, free from any contamination", Stefanos Goudromichos, technical director of IONPLUS, the company, explained to who supplied the machines and supports their operation.

Referring to the specific machines, he emphasized that it is not just a robotic system for the dissolution of cytostatic drugs, but for the management of oncology drugs, that is, the preparation of oncology treatments, as it also manages biological agents. He also emphasized that the main thing is that it ensures 100% of the cancer patient's dose, but equally important is that it protects operators from exposure to cytostatic drugs, which was a cause of protest from the nursing staff.

Mr. Goudromichos emphasized that robotics is not just a trend, but is the future in oncology as well. "Cancer is a chronic disease, which means that the patient will take drugs for life. It is very important to have this control in terms of what the patient got, but also the financial benefit", he said characteristically.

At 35,000 the beneficiaries of the Day Care Center.