for people ages 3 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Katherine Matthay
Photo of Katherine Matthay
Katherine Matthay



This is a pilot study with the primary purpose to describe organ dosimetry and acute toxicities using no carrier added and carrier added 124I-MIBG PET/CT in patients with neuroblastoma (NB). Eligible patients are 3 years of age and older with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma who are currently enrolled on a treatment protocol with 131I-MIBG. After all eligibility criteria are met, patients will receive a diagnostic imaging dose of 124I-MIBG followed by sequential PET/CT dosimetry scans on Days 0, 1, 2 and 5. Subsequent, planned therapeutic administration of 131I-MIBG will occur between Days 7 to 21, as specified by the patient's therapeutic MIBG protocol. An optional single follow up 124I-MIBG PET-CT scan will be done to assess tumor sites 6 weeks after the patient has their MIBG therapy.


Accurate radiation dose evaluation is important in patients with malignant tumors, and this is especially critical in children with NB who will be receiving several dose of therapeutic 131I. The accurate quantification of the isotope-labeled analog can only be achieved by using positron emission compounds, such as 124I. Unlike planar images, which were used to obtain kinetic information, and SPECT reconstruction modalities that were aimed to assess the spatial distribution of radioactivity, 3D PET imaging-based dosimetry is a method which provides a more accurate estimation of the cumulated radioactivity distribution. Because PET provides better quantitative accuracy, when compared to SPECT regarding the tissue absorbed information, we hypothesize PET would better correspond with tumor response and normal organ toxicity. Early studies using I-124 for dosimetry in thyroid cancer have been promising. Demonstration of the feasibility and accuracy of this new imaging modality, with the excellent prospect for more accurate dosimetry, will improve tumor localization and optimize therapeutic dosing with 131I-MIBG. The results of our work may potentially have also implications in the study of other neuroendocrine tumors. The Section of Nuclear Medicine and the Laboratory of Functional Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco, are equipped with state of the art instruments and is run by a highly skilled staff which will guarantee the success of the proposed research.


Neuroblastoma imaging 124I-MIBG 131I-MIBG PET/CT 3-Iodobenzylguanidine 124I-MIBG (no-carrier added) 124I-MIBG (carrier added)


You can join if…

Open to people ages 3 years and up

  • Age: Patients must be >/= 3 years of age and able to cooperate for the PET CT scan when registered on study.
  • Diagnosis: Patients must have a diagnosis of neuroblastoma either by histologic verification of neuroblastoma and/or demonstration of tumor cells in the bone marrow with increased urinary catecholamine metabolites.
  • Disease Status - To be eligible for the MIBG pre-therapy dosimetry:
  • Recurrent/progressive disease at any time. Biopsy is not required, even if there is a partial response to intervening therapy.
  • Refractory disease (i.e. less than a partial response to frontline therapy, including a minimum of 4 cycles of chemotherapy). No biopsy is required for eligibility for this study.
  • Imaging only cohort
  • For patients participating in the imaging cohort only, patients with high-risk neuroblastoma are eligible at any time (during initial treatment or during treatment of relapsed/refractory disease) as long as they meet the requirements.
  • 123I-MIBG Uptake: Patients must have MIBG evaluable disease which is defined as evidence of uptake into tumor at one site within 4 weeks prior to entry on study and subsequent to any intervening therapy.
  • Patients must meet eligibility criteria for 131I-MIBG therapy in order to participate in the dosimetry portion.
  • Reproductive Function: All post-menarchal females must have a negative beta-HCG within 2 weeks prior to receiving the dose of 124I-MIBG. Males and females of childbearing potential must practice an effective method of birth control while participating on this study, to avoid possible damage to the fetus.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Pregnancy or lactating with the intent of breast feeding.
  • Patients who require general anesthesia for MIBG imaging studies.


  • University of California, San Francisco
    San Francisco California 94143 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Katherine Matthay
    Dr. Katherine Matthay is the chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and has been focused for more than 20 years on translational research in neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood cancer. At UCSF, she has developed and led multiple trials using a unique targeted radiopharmaceutical, 131I-MIBG for neuroblastoma.


currently not accepting new patients, but might later
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Katherine Matthay
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