Iodine-131 meta-iodobenzylguanidine (I-131 MIBG) is a radiopharmaceutical used for both imaging and treating certain types of neuroendocrine tumors. Neuroendocrine tumors that can be treated with I-131 MIBG include neuroblastomas, paragangliomas and pheochromocytomas.
This targeted radionuclide therapy is able to detect and treat these tumors because the compound MIBG is very similar to norepinephrine/noradrenaline, a neurotransmitter chemical that is taken up by certain neuroendocrine cells. I-131 MIBG is used to treat neuroendocrine tumors by selectively targeting and killing neuroendocrine tumors that take up MIBG.
I-131 MIBG is administered under the supervision of a nuclear medicine specialist. It is a procedure that is performed in the hospital. The radiopharmaceutical is injected into the patient's bloodstream, and the patient remains in the hospital for a few days during and after treatment until the radioactivity in the patient's body has decreased to a safe level for the patient to be around other people.