Pilot study: 131I-MIBG radiotherapy with chemotherapy after induction for newly diagnosed

Dr Greg Yanik (University of Michigan) presented preliminary results of the NANT (New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy) NANT-2001-02 phase 2 MIBG + CEM (131I-MIBG radiotherapy with carboplatin, etoposide, and melphalan) stem cell transplant trial on June 23rd 2010 at the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research meeting in Stockholm, Sweden in the “Novel clinical strategies” session. The data are still under review and will be presented at the COG meeting next month. The trial has been completed but the NIH clinical trials listing has not yet been updated to reflect this.[1]

The results of 12 relapsed and refractory children treated in the phase I MIBG+CEM trial was published in 2002.[2]

The encouraging results in the phase II study with 50 refractory children who did not completely respond to induction provide promising expectations for a new pilot trial COG-ANBL09P1 using this concept for frontline therapy for newly diagnosed. The principal investigator is Dr Brian Weiss (Cincinnati Children’s) and the trial will soon begin, accruing 49 patients up to 30 years old in select locations.

Upon completing this protocol, children will also be eligible for the new phase III antibody study using ch14.18 + GM-CSF + IL2 COG-ANBL0931. This trial opened in January 2010 and will accrue 105 (currently open in 29 locations) to further establish safety and efficacy of the antibody ch14.18 given with cytokines GM-CSF and IL2 to obtain FDA approval. This trial is open to all ages.

Is this the first time MIBG will be used in frontline therapy for newly diagnosed (as opposed to just for those refractory at the end of induction)? In 2008 researchers in the Netherlands reported the use of MIBG as initial therapy before chemotherapy and surgery for 44 newly diagnosed high-risk children.

From the abstract:

The protocol dictated at least two cycles of (131)I-MIBG with a fixed dose of 7.4 and 3.7 GBq, respectively, followed by surgery, if feasible, or followed by neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery. This was followed by consolidation with four courses of chemotherapy myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT). Consolidation therapy with 13-cis-retinoic acid was given for 6 months.

Of 44 consecutive patients, 41 were evaluable after two courses of (131)I-MIBG. The objective response rate at this point was 66%. In 24 patients, (131)I-MIBG was continued as pre-operative induction treatment. Seventeen patients required additional chemotherapy before surgery. After pre-operative therapy and surgery, the overall response rate was 73%.[3]


1. OR58 Phase II trial of MIBG with intensive chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplant (ASCT) for high risk neuroblastoma. A New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT) Study (p. 123 ANR Programme Abstract Book, June 2010)

2. J Clin Oncol. 2002 Apr 15;20(8):2142-9. Pilot study of iodine-131-metaiodobenzylguanidine in combination with myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous stem-cell support for the treatment of neuroblastoma. PMID: 11956276

3. Eur J Cancer. 2008 Mar;44(4):551-6. Epub 2008 Feb 11. Iodine-131-metaiodobenzylguanidine as initial induction therapy in stage 4 neuroblastoma patients over 1 year of age. PMID: 18267358

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