Neuroblastoma is an embryonic tumour of the sympathetic nervous system, metastatic in half of the patients at diagnosis, with a high preponderance of osteomedullary disease, making accurate evaluation of metastatic sites and response to therapy challenging. Metaiodobenzylguanidine (mIBG), taken into cells via the norepinephrine transporter, provides a sensitive and specific method of assessing tumour in both soft tissue and bone sites. The goal of this report was to develop consensus guidelines for the use of mIBG scans in staging, response assessment and surveillance in neuroblastoma.
The International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) Task Force, including a multidisciplinary group in paediatric oncology of North and South America, Europe, Oceania and Asia, formed a subcommittee on metastatic disease evaluation, including expert nuclear medicine physicians and oncologists, who developed these guidelines based on their experience and the medical literature, with approval by the larger INRG Task Force.
Guidelines for patient preparation, radiotracer administration, techniques of scanning including timing, energy, specific views, and use of single photon emission computed tomography are included. Optimal timing of scans in relation to therapy and for surveillance is reviewed. Validated semi-quantitative scoring methods in current use are reviewed, with recommendations for use in prognosis and response evaluation.
Metaiodobenzylguanidine scans are the most sensitive and specific method of staging and response evaluation in neuroblastoma, particularly when used with a semi-quantitative scoring method. Use of the optimal techniques for mIBG in staging and response, including a semi-quantitative score, is essential for evaluation of the efficacy of new therapy.