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J Clin Oncol. 1992 Dec;10(12):1889-96.

Phase I/II study of iodine 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine in chemoresistant neuroblastoma: a United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group investigation.

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Department of Paediatric Oncology, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom.



The goal of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of iodine 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine (mIBG) in metastatic neuroblastoma.


A multicenter phase I study of 131I mIBG has been undertaken by the United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group (UKCCSG) in children with advanced chemoresistant neuroblastoma. Activity prescription was based on a prescribed whole-body radiation dose, which was established for individual patients by performing an initial tracer investigation with 75 MBq of 131I mIBG. An activity was derived from this pharmacokinetic study that would deliver an initial whole-body-absorbed radiation dose of 1 Gy. Subsequent dose escalations were based on observed toxicity.


Twenty-five patients, aged 1 to 10 years, were treated with prescribed whole-body dose levels of 1.0 Gy (n = 2), 2.0 Gy (n = 13), and 2.5 Gy (n = 10). This necessitated administration of 2.4 to 12.1 GBq of activity. Hematologic, hepatic, kidney, and adrenal toxicity were observed, with bone marrow suppression being the principal dose-limiting toxicity. Bone marrow toxicity increased with prescribed whole-body-absorbed radiation dose, with 80% of patients developing grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia at a prescribed whole-body radiation dose of 2.5 Gy. Objective evidence of tumor response was seen in soft tissue (primary or nodal disease), bone, and bone marrow, with an overall response rate of 33% (partial response, n = 8; static disease, n = 9; progressive disease, n = 7).


This study has established an effective method of activity prescription that predicts subsequent toxicity, with the maximally tolerated dose being sufficient activity to deliver a whole-body-absorbed radiation dose of 2.5 Gy. The objective response rate is comparable to other single agents in chemoresistant neuroblastoma and suggests that 131I mIBG may be a useful method for targeting radiotherapy in metastatic neuroblastoma.

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