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Levine Children’s Hospital is home to the Isabella Santos Foundation MIBG Therapy Suite, one of the only MIBG treatment rooms in the region.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Isabella Santos Foundation, who made this state-of-the-art room possible, your family has yet another way to find the cancer care you need, without traveling far.

A Specially Designed MIBG Therapy Suite to Treat Rare Cancers

What is MIBG therapy, and who’s it for?

Using a compound called metaiodobenzylguanidine, MIBG treatment is a highly targeted radiation therapy. Given through an infusion, it can work to effectively kill cancer cells in patients battling neuroendocrine cancers.

Patients who qualify for MIBG therapy are:

  • Between 1 and 26 years in age
  • Diagnosed with cancer affecting the endocrine system, including neuroblastoma, paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma

What’s unique about our MIBG therapy suite?

  • Located at a top children’s hospital. The Isabella Santos Foundation MIBG Therapy Suite is at Levine Children’s Hospital, named one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Tailored experiences. From providing care packages with all your child’s favorite things to letting them pick their bedsheets, we help your child feel as at home as possible.
  • Room for caregivers. We know you want to be close to your child when they receive any treatment. Our MIBG suite has two rooms – a treatment room for your child and an adjoining room for you. This way, you’ll always be nearby to make sure your child feels safe and comfortable throughout their stay.
  • Comprehensive care team. Your child’s care team consists of pediatric specialists, nurse practitioners, psychologists and social workers, as well as child life specialists. They all work to help your child through every phase of their treatment.
  • Help with travel costs. If you need help getting here, just let us know and we’ll see if you qualify.

How long will my child stay at the hospital?

Your child will be admitted about 24 hours before their MIBG infusion. After the infusion is given, your child will stay until their radiation levels are low enough, and it’s safe for them to leave the hospital.

Typically, patients stay in the hospital for 4 to 7 days total, but this can vary based on dose and age.

How will treatment affect my child?

The good news is MIBG therapy typically has little to no side effects. Occasionally, patients experience nausea or high blood pressure, but these are easily treated and won’t be long-lasting.

The most common side effect of MIBG therapy is low blood count, which is also treatable and can occur within 2 to 3 weeks of the therapy. The second most common side effect is boredom, which is why we offer lots of activities, video games, movies and other distractions to make their time here a little bit easier.

How do you monitor radiation levels and minimize exposure?

Safety is our top priority, and we track radiation exposure daily. Each MIBG patient receives IV fluids that help get rid of the radiation, and our MIBG room is lined with lead to protect caregivers, staff and other patients from exposure.

Keep reading

Levine Children’s Hospital is now one of the few hospitals in the country with a special lead-lined room to treat rare cancers. And it’s all because of a little girl and the never-ending fight against cancer she inspired.

For Children with Cancer, Building a Room With a View to a Better Future

Levine Children’s Hospital, backed by the Isabella Santos Foundation, opened its own MIBG therapy suite – becoming one of a handful of children’s hospitals in the country to have one.

Read more