Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston has opened a new I-131 MIBG suite to treat children with high-risk neuroblastoma, a cancerous tumor that begins in the nerve tissue of infants and very young children. Metaiodobenzylguanidine is a compound that can be combined with radioactive iodine (I-131) to provide targeted radiation therapy. During the therapy, patients receive therapeutic doses of the radioactive iodine that attacks the tumors, but leaves patients radioactive for up to 10 days. The facility, which includes thick lead protection specified by the hospital’s physicist to provide radiation shielding, was designed by Dewberry.
The suite enables parents to stay close to their child throughout the treatment, and consists of three rooms: a lead-lined patient room, an adjoining room with a lead-lined viewing window where family members can spend the night and an entry area where clinicians can consult and observe the patient.
The suite was designed with radiation shielding elements including lead-lined floors, walls and ceilings with 3/8-inch lead bricks; lead-lined steel doors and the viewing window with five-inch thick lead glass. Installation of the lead-lined elements required careful structural evaluation. In addition, the air conditioning ductwork, medical gas and electrical piping systems were altered to accommodate the lead-lined protection.
W. S. Bellows Construction Corporation served as general contractor on the project.