Pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy (PIPAC): occupational health and safety aspects

Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Oct;20(11):3504-11. doi: 10.1245/s10434-013-3039-x. Epub 2013 Jun 14.


Background: Pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy (PIPAC) is a novel approach for treating peritoneal carcinomatosis. First encouraging results have been obtained in human patients. However, delivering chemotherapy as an aerosol might result in an increased risk of exposure to health care workers, as compared with other administration routes.

Methods: PIPAC was applied in two human patients using chemotherapeutic drugs (doxorubicin and cisplatin), and air contamination levels were measured under real clinical conditions. Air was collected on a cellulose nitrate filter with a flow of 22.5 m(3)/h. To exclude any risk for health care workers, both procedures were remote controlled. Toxicological research of cisplatin was performed according to NIOSH 7300 protocol. Sampling and analysis were performed by an independent certification organization.

Results: The following safety measures were implemented: closed abdomen, laminar airflow, controlled aerosol waste, and protection curtain. No cisplatin was detected in the air (detection limit < 0.000009 mg/m(3)) at the working positions of the surgeon and the anesthesiologist under real PIPAC conditions.

Conclusions: For the drugs tested, PIPAC is in compliance with European Community working safety law and regulations. Workplace contamination remains below the tolerance margin. The safety measures and conditions as defined above are sufficient. Further protecting devices, such as particulate (air purifying) masks, are not necessary. PIPAC can be used safely in the clinical setting if the conditions specified above are met. However, a toxicological workplace analysis must be performed to confirm that the procedure as implemented complies with local regulations.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / analysis*
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pressure
  • United States


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cisplatin