MIBG Treatment

Texas Children’s Cancer Center offers MIBG therapy for patients with high-risk relapsed or refractory Neuroblastoma.

In keeping with our mission to provide personalized, comprehensive services as well as family-centered care for every patient, I-131MIBG treatment is offered to patients in a two-room suite that allows a parent to stay close to their child throughout the length of treatment. A viewing window separates the two rooms.  In addition to an intercom system between the rooms, both patient and parent will be provided with iPads for communication. The patient room is equipped to manage safe delivery of therapy to the patient as well as protect staff and parents from unwanted radiation when entering the room for short periods of time. The parent room is fully equipped with a bed, couch, and full private bathroom.

What is MIBG therapy?

Metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) is a compound that can be combined with radioactive iodine (I-131) to deliver targeted radiation therapy. I-131 MIBG can be used to treat high-risk neuroblastoma, a cancerous tumor that begins in nerve tissue of infants and very young children.

MIBG (Metaiodobenzylguanidine) is a compound that is absorbed by nerve cells in the human body, including neuroblastoma cells. It has been used for many years in a diagnostic and therapeutic capacity. In recent years, oncologists have combined MIBG with radioactive iodine (I-131) to deliver radiation in a targeted manner. Since neuroblastoma cells absorb MIBG, it is tagged with I-131 and administered intravenously. These tumor cells are killed by the radiation emitted, while sparing tissue that does not absorb any MIBG. Thus, this therapy tends to be more effective, less painful and better tolerated than other therapies.

Length of MIBG treatment

At Texas Children’s Cancer Center, we will require your child to stay in the MIBG suite for about 5 days. The MIBG therapy will begin on Day 1 and much of the radiation is expelled from the body (through urine) the same day. As the radioactivity level continues to decrease each day after, your child will be monitored daily until the radiation level is at a safe level for discharge.

What to expect during your stay

As a leader in family-centered care, Texas Children’s Cancer Center will provide the necessary care to address both the physical and emotional aspect of your child’s well-being during MIBG therapy. A comfortable adjoining room for the parent with a view of your child’s room at all times and the means to communicate through iPad and intercom is provided.  You will be able to enter your child’s room with protective clothing when needed. The radiation that you receive will be measured at all times to keep you safe.

During MIBG treatment, your child will benefit from the combined talents and expertise of our oncologists, radiation safety officers, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and child life specialists to receive effective and comfortable care.