A different radiation therapy
MIBG therapy is delivered through an IV, over one to two hours. Due to the radioactive iodine, extra precautions are needed to keep the patient, caregivers and staff safe from unnecessary radiation exposure during the treatment. We have a special room on Unit 4 outfitted with special features, and staff will prepare the room with protective wrappings.
The patient will be admitted to the hospital for treatment and stay for two to three days until most of the radiation has left the body. Most of the radiation leaves the body in the urine, so younger children might need to have a catheter in the bladder to help urine leave the body, usually for a couple of days.
What are the benefits of MIBG therapy?
Many patient with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma will have a decrease in their disease burden with this therapy that may lead to prolonged survival. In addition, it can be very helpful in decreasing pain and fatigue.
What are the side effects?
The side effects of MIBG therapy are fairly limited compared to other treatment options. Most patients do not have serious side effects, but it can cause mild nausea or fatigue. It also can suppress the bone marrow and many patients will need blood or platelet transfusions following the therapy or may need their own stem cells infused.
Who is eligible for MIBG therapy?
At this time, patients with refractory or relapsed neuroblastoma are eligible to receive MIBG therapy.
What is the future of MIBG therapy?
We are looking into future studies to see if MIBG therapy could be effective in the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed neuroblastoma.