A systematic review of 131I-meta iodobenzylguanidine molecular radiotherapy for neuroblastoma

Jayne S Wilson, Jennifer E Gains, Veronica Moroz, Keith Wheatley, Mark N Gaze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


The optimal use and effectiveness of (131)I-meta iodobenzylguanidine ((131)I-mIBG) molecular radiotherapy for neuroblastoma remain unclear despite extensive clinical experience. This systematic review aimed to improve understanding of the current data and define uncertainties for future clinical trials. Bibliographic databases were searched for neuroblastoma and (131)I-mIBG. Clinical trials and non-comparative case series of (131)I-mIBG therapy for neuroblastoma were included. Two reviewers assessed papers for inclusion using the title and abstract with consensus achieved by discussion. Data were extracted by one reviewer and checked by a second. Studies with multiple publications were reported as a single study. The searches yielded 1216 citations, of which 51 publications reporting 30 studies met our inclusion criteria. No randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were identified. In two studies (131)I-mIBG had been used as induction therapy and in one study it had been used as consolidation therapy. Twenty-seven studies for relapsed and refractory disease were identified. Publication dates ranged from 1987 to 2012. Total number of patients was 1121 with study sizes ranging from 10 to 164. There was a large amount of heterogeneity between the studies with regard to patient population, treatment schedule and response assessment. Study quality was highly variable. The objective tumour response rate reported in 25 studies ranged from 0% to 75%, mean 32%. We conclude that (131)I-mIBG is an active treatment for neuroblastoma, but its place in the management of neuroblastoma remains unclear. Prospective randomised trials are essential to strengthen the evidence base.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-15
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Research Design
  • Treatment Outcome


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