131I-MIBG Therapy in metastatic phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma

  • Gonca Kara GedikEmail author
  • Cornelis A. Hoefnagel
  • Evert Bais
  • Renato A. Valdés Olmos
Original article



131Iodine metaiodobenzylguanidine (131I-MIBG) is a radiopharmaceutical used for scintigraphic localisation of phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas. The experience with its therapeutic use is limited. We report our experience for the treatment of malignant phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma.

Materials and methods

The charts of 19 patients with malignant phaeochromocytoma (n = 12) or paraganglioma (n = 7), who were treated with 131I-MIBG, were retrospectively reviewed. Four patients (21%) received radiotherapy, three (16%) chemotherapy, and in one patient (5%), both chemotherapy and radiotherapy was given before 131I-MIBG therapy. Response to 131I-MIBG treatment was evaluated by objective as tumour response, biochemical and subjective response.


Of the 19 patients, 13 (68%) were men, 6 (32%) were women. Ages ranged from 22 to 68 years (median, 47). The median initial dose was 7.4 GBq (200 mCi; range, 6.7 GBq-25.9 GBq, 180-700 mCi); median cumulative dose was 22.2 GBq (600 mCi; range, 6.8 GBq-81.4 GBq, 183-2200 mCi). Objective tumour response was achieved in 47% of the patients. Biochemical response rate was 67%, and symptomatic response was seen in 89% of the patients. Overall median follow-up was 29 months, with a range of 3-93 months. Haematologic complications were the most common side effects and were observed in 26% of the patients.


Our data support that symptomatic and biochemical response can be reached with 131I-MIBG therapy in patients with metastatic phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Although complete tumour response was not observed, the palliation and control of tumour function by 131I-MIBG therapy may be valuable for the patients.


131I-MIBG Phaeochromocytoma Paraganglioma Malignant Radionuclide therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gonca Kara Gedik
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cornelis A. Hoefnagel
    • 2
  • Evert Bais
    • 3
  • Renato A. Valdés Olmos
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of MedicineHacettepe University School of MedicineSıhhiyeTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear MedicineThe Netherlands Cancer InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Medical OncologyThe Netherlands Cancer InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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