Children's Hospital Los Angeles part of clinical trials for neuroblastoma radiation therapy

Children's Hospital Los Angeles has begun offering a radiation drug therapy using metaiodobenzylguanidine, or MIGB, to children with high-risk neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is the second-most common solid tumor in children, and the hospital is the only facility in the Southwestern U.S. that offers the MIGB treatment, according to a July 14 press release. 

MIGB, previously used as a blood pressure medication, can kill neuroblastoma cells when combined with a radioactive iodine, the release said. 

"Bringing MIBG therapy to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will allow many more patients to access this promising treatment," Araz Marachelian, MD, director of the neuroblastoma program in the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said in the release. "Previously, families in Southern California, as well as nearby states like Arizona and Nevada, have had to travel long distances for MIBG treatment." 

Pediatric patients who receive MIGB treatment will be cared for in rooms equipped to handle radiation and will be in required isolation for two to five days or until radiation levels are safe. However, the rooms are designed so parents can visit their children. 

MIGB is not approved by the FDA. Children's Hospital Los Angeles is one of several clinical trials taking place throughout the country, the release said.

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