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Iodine-131 MIBG scintigraphy in small cell lung cancer


There is a well documented relationship between small cell carcinoma of the lung and the amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation system of endocrine cells (APUD). We attempted to exploit this association by employing the unique radiopharmaceutical,131I-MIBG, which is recognized and taken up by the APUD system to monitor disease activity in patients with small cell carcinoma of the lung. A total of eight patients with biopsy proven, metastatic small cell carcinoma of the lung were studied.131I-MIBG was synthesized in our laboratory by reacting metaiodobenzylamine synthesized in our laboratory by reacting metaiodobenzylamine hydrochloride with cyanamide with subsequent solid phase radioiodination. A dose of 0.5 mCi radiopharmaceutical was injected and images obtained on a large field of view gamma camera with a high energy parallel hole collimator at 2, 24, and either 48 or 72 h. Images were compared with known focal areas of metastatic disease demonstrable on computed tomographic scan, chest roentgenogram or bone scan. We were unable to detect reproducible correlations between the images produced by conventional radiographic techniques and the images produced by our radiopharmaceutical. We conclude that this agent will probably not be useful for localization of metastatic small cell lung carcinoma.

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Correspondence to L. Rao Chervu.

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This work was supported by a Pilot Research Grant from the Education and Research Foundation of the Society of Nuclear Medicine

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Wadler, S., Tai, K., Chervu, L.R. et al. Iodine-131 MIBG scintigraphy in small cell lung cancer. Eur J Nucl Med 15, 108–110 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00702629

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Key words

  • Small cell carcinoma
  • 131I-MIBG
  • APUD