Pediatric Neuroblastoma

University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital is the only facility in Minnesota able to offer targeted therapy using radioiodine-labeled metaiodobenzylguanidine (I131-MIBG) for children with recurrent or difficult-to-treat neuroblastomas.
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Neuroblastoma is a very rare cancer that forms in your child’s nerve tissue when immature nerve cells do not develop normally. Common places for it to begin include the adrenal glands, chest, or spinal cord. Your child may exhibit dark circles under his or her eyes, bone pain, bulging eyes, or swelling and pain in the abdomen. Young infants may also have trouble breathing or have blue lumps under the skin. Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer in infants, with the average age of diagnosis under two years.

Our Approach

Doctors with University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital are experts in the treatment of neuroblastoma. This gives our team a rare understanding of this uncommon cancer. In fact, the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital is the only facility in Minnesota able to offer targeted therapy using radioiodine-labeled metaiodobenzylguanidine (I131-MIBG) for children with recurrent or difficult-to-treat neuroblastomas.

In addition, the University of Minnesota houses the only National Cancer Institute-funded Children’s Oncology Group phase 1 program in Minnesota. This means we offer more clinical trials than any other children’s hospital in the state. New treatments are discovered and applied here first, often becoming national standards of care.

Current open trials include one to help determine the best treatment for a child’s neuroblastoma based on genetic material and another to study the survivorship of patients with high risk or relapsed solid tumors. Ask your child’s physician about participating in a clinical trial.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures

MIBG Therapy

For patients with relapsed neuroblastoma, radioactive MIBG therapy is an experimental new drug that is potentially an effective treatment option with limited side effects. MIBG, when combined with radioactive iodine (I-131), delivers targeted radiation therapy to neuroblastoma cells.
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Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a treatment option for adults or children with cancer using drugs that kill cancer cells. Often simply called “chemo,” chemotherapy is a combination of medications designed to destroy cancer cells, cause remission of your cancer or actually cure the cancer.
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Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapy

At University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, we perform the two main types of stem cell transplant: Autologous transplant – uses the body’s own stem cells and Allogeneic transplant – uses well-matched stem cells from another person.
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TomoTherapy

TomoTherapy is a specialized form of radiation delivery that combines radiation therapy with 3D imaging to create more precise targeting of tumors. It works by delivering radiation beams from multiple directions allowing the radiation to match the exact shape of the tumor.
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Pediatric Radiation Oncology

Radiation is an essential part of treatment for many children with cancer and other disorders. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to shrink tumors, kill cancer cells and treat other non-cancerous conditions.
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Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is an emerging form of cancer treatment with great promise and limited toxicity. Its goal is to harness the power of the patient’s immune system and use it to fight cancer. Sometimes called biological therapy, it's changing the way we think about cancer treatment.
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