Cancer Center offers I-131 MIBG therapy

Press Release

I-131 MIBG therapy suite offers neuroblastoma patients specialized treatment

Children fighting one of the toughest forms of cancer – neuroblastoma – gained another treatment option at Texas Children’s Cancer Center in 2017.

I-131 MIBG, a targeted nuclear medicine therapy that combines metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) with radioactive iodine (I-131), is now being offered at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, one of only a few centers in the nation where children can receive treatment with I-131 MIBG.

The therapy is administered intravenously and takes less than two hours. However, once the infusion is complete, the patient needs to stay in a specially-equipped, lead-lined hospital room for several days for monitoring.

The Cancer Center, in partnership with Texas Children’s Department of Radiology, opened the I-131 MIBG therapy suite in January 2017. The suite contains three rooms: a lead-lined patient room where the therapy is administered; an adjoining room with a lead-lined viewing window where family members can spend the night and be with their child throughout the entire procedure; and a consultation area where clinicians can meet, discuss and observe the patient.


At the ribbon-cutting for the new suite, Cancer Center Deputy Director Dr. Susan Blaney said the opening represents a “tremendous milestone and a phenomenal effort on behalf of professionals from across the hospital.”

“Neuroblastoma is very challenging to treat and to have this option to offer patients to help them conquer this disease is tremendous,” she said, adding that it can be used to treat patients locally, regionally and beyond. There are only a handful of pediatric hospitals in the nation equipped with this expertise and the infrastructure to offer it.

The Department of Radiology was heavily involved in the planning, design, simulation and execution of the suite, and members of the Nuclear Radiology staff will administer the treatment.

“Being able to offer this treatment is a testament to our multidisciplinary approach to caring for our patients,” said Chief of Nuclear Radiology Dr. Robert Orth. “By working with our Cancer Center colleagues, we can pull together our expertise to provide opportunities for the best possible outcomes.”

Co-Director of Texas Children’s Cancer Center’s Neuroblastoma Program Dr. Jennifer Foster said being able to offer I-131 MIBG therapy makes the Cancer Center truly a one-stop-shop for neuroblastoma patients and opens the door for additional referrals from areas across the country and globe. The suite also gives physicians the ability to explore the use of I-131 MIGB therapy in combination with other therapies as part of novel clinical trials.

Patrick DeClaire, a neuroblastoma patient at the Cancer Center, and his family attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I’m so pleased that families like ours will have the option of receiving this therapy at Texas Children’s,” said Patrick’s mother Laurie DeClaire.