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Garron Family Cancer Centre

The Garron Family MIBG Suite

What is MIBG?

  • MIBG is short for Metaiodobenzylguanidine.
  • MIBG is a substance that concentrates in neuroblastoma tumors. When a type of radioactive iodine (131I) is chemically attached to the MIBG to form 131I-MIBG, it specifically targets radiation to kill the neuroblastoma cells.
  • 131I-MIBG is a clear liquid that looks like water.
  • The main delayed side effect of 131I-MIBG therapy is low blood counts.
  • 131I-MIBG is generally well tolerated and has assisted children to gain control of their disease, and to provide them with the opportunity of prolonged disease stabilization. Research has shown that approx 30% of children with relapsed neuroblastoma have benefitted and have had their tumor reduce in size following MIBG therapy.

MIBG Therapy at SickKids

SickKids is a world class pediatric health care centre, with one of the largest Haematology/Oncology Programs in North America. In Canada, SickKids is one of only two pediatric hospitals to offer 131I-MIBG Therapy, with presently 15 centres in the United States.

Prior to opening the Garron Family MIBG Suite, Canadian children needed to travel to the U.S. or Montreal to obtain this treatment, resulting in added financial and logistical strain for families. The new facility will enable children with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma to be treated closer to home.

The vision for the new MIBG Suite supports The Garron Cancer Centre and SickKids’ commitment to innovation and providing Canadian children and their families living with cancer with greater access to the best and newest treatment that will assist to improve clinical care and quality of life. 

To deliver this targeted radiation safely to children, and to keep families and hospital staff safe, a specialized room, equipment and healthcare team with special training are needed.   SickKids has a new MIBG room (approximately 700 sq feet) with state-of-the-art equipment, and specialized Neuroblastoma and MIBG Therapy Programs. The team consists of oncologists, a nurse practitioner, a radiation medicine physican, a radiation safety officer, nurses and a social worker.  They are a part of a larger interdisciplinary team including oncologists/ physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, pharmacists, dieticians, rehabilitation specialists, psychologist, chaplain who are available to help provide your child the best care.

Conditions Treated with MIBG

Currently, 131I-MIBG therapy is indicated for children with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma who participate in clinical trials or through a special access program from Health Canada, when such clinical trials are not available. However, we are hopeful that it will eventually become a standard of care for children with newly-diagnosed high-risk neuroblastoma. 

MIBG therapy is also used to treat phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma, very rare childhood tumours.

Contact us

For general inquiries, please contact the team at mibg.info@sickkids.ca or call 416-813-6801