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Long-term disease-free survival after MIBG therapy for metastatic pheochromocytoma
  1. Junita Rachel John,
  2. Julie Hephzibah,
  3. Nylla Shanthly and
  4. Regi Oommen
  1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Christian Medical College and Hospital Vellore, Vellore, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Julie Hephzibah; drjulsan{at}


Pheochromocytomas are rare tumours originating in chromaffin cells, representing 0.1%–1% of all secondary hypertension cases. The majority are benign and unilateral, characterised by the production of catecholamines and other neuropeptides. Mainly located in the adrenal gland, they are more frequent between the third and fifth decades of life. Iodine-131 metaiodobenzylguanidine (131I-MIBG), a radiopharmaceutical agent used for scintigraphic localisation of pheochromocytomas, has been employed to treat malignant pheochromocytomas since 1983 in a few specialised centres around the world. We reviewed our clinical experience in one such case of a young lady who presented with history of abdominal pain, headache and lower back pain. On evaluation, ultrasonography revealed a right adrenal mass and elevated urine vanillylmandelic acid levels. Following surgical resection and histopathological confirmation of pheochromocytoma, MIBG scintigraphy revealed osseous metastases and hence, she underwent 131I-MIBG therapy.

  • endocrine cancer
  • cancer intervention

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  • Contributors The following authors were responsible for drafting of the text, sourcing and editing of clinical images, investigation results, drawing original diagrams and algorithms, and critical revision for important intellectual content: JRJ and JH. The following authors gave final approval of the manuscript: JH, NS and RO.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.