I-131 MIBG Treatment Program

I-131 MIBG Treatment Program with Addie Brenden

Who Is I131 MIBG Treatment For?

  • I131 MIBG treatment is for patients with neuroblastoma that has not responded to regular therapy.
  • If your child's neuroblastoma has not responded to regular therapy, you may benefit from this option.

What is I-131 MIBG?

  • I-131 is a radioactive iodine used to kill certain types of cancer
  • metaiaodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) takes the radioactive iodine to your child’s tumor
  • I-131 MIBG looks like water. It will be given through your child’s IV (intravenous) or central line.

Before Deciding if Your Child Should Receive I-131 MIBG

  • You will have a clinic visit and meet with the MIBG team at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The team will review scans and records sent to us. We will talk about the treatment with you.
  • You and the MIBG team will meet to decide if this treatment is right for your child

What to Expect Leading Up to Your Child Receiving I-131 MIBG

A week or two before your child comes for treatment, you will meet with members of the MIBG team:

  • Because I-131 MIBG is radioactive, the I-131 MIBG team will meet with you to share more information about:
    • Radiation safety for your child, family members and guests
    • What to bring (and not to bring) to the hospital
    • Other important information
  • A Child Life Specialist will talk about a plan for distraction and comfort for your child

The day before I-131 MIBG treatment:

  • Bring only items you will need for your child. Do NOT bring any special toys, clothes, or blankets as these items could get contaminated.
  • Your child will be admitted to the special room for I-131 MIBG treatment. The room will have a lead lining due to the radioactive iodine your child will be getting to treat the tumor. You will be able to stay with your child on the day of admission.
  • Your child will have a Foley catheter placed to drain urine from the bladder. Most children get sedation for their comfort.

The day of the I-131 MIBG treatment:

  • The lead-lined room will be set up by the radiation safety team
  • The nuclear medicine technologist will bring the I-131 MIBG dose, surrounded by a lead shield, to the room and give it through your child’s IV or central line over about 2 hours.

What to Expect After the I-131 MIBG is Done

  • Because of the radiation and for your safety, you must stay outside of your child’s room during and after the infusion
  • You will stay in a parent room very close to your child. You will be able to communicate with your child through a 2-way TV monitor. You will be able to see and talk to your child, and your child will be able to see and talk to you.
  • Your child will need to stay in or near the bed until the radiation level is safe. Your child will be able to play video games, watch TV, and play with toys.
  • Young children may find staying in bed hard, and the MIBG team will discuss the option of using medicines to help your child relax, if needed.


More information will be given at the consultation appointment.

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Mariko Sato between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday:

Phone: 1-319-353-6393
Fax: 319-356-7659
Email: Mariko-Sato@uiowa.edu

Locations and Contact

  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    2400 Colloton Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: UI Stead Family Children's Hospital public elevator, Level 2
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • 1-855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
    • 1-319-356-1616 (Emergency)