Current status of cancer immunodetection with radiolabeled human monoclonal antibodies

Robert De Jager, Hani Abdel-Nabi, Aldo Serafini, Alain Pecking, Jerry L. Klein, Michael G. Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The use of radiolabeled murine monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) for cancer immunodetection has been limited by the development of human antimouse antibodies (HAMA). Human monoclonal antibodies do not elicit a significant human antihuman (HAHA) response. The generation and production of human monoclonal antibodies met with technical difficulties that resulted in delaying their clinical testing. Human monoclonal antibodies of all isotypes have been obtained. Most were immunoglobulin (Ig) M directed against intracellular antigens. Two antibodies, 16.88 (IgM) and 88BV59 (IgG3k), recognize different epitopes on a tumor-associated antigen, CTA 16.88, homologous to cytokeratins 8, 18, and 19. CTA 16.88 is expressed by most epithelial-derived tumors including carcinomas of the colon, pancreas, breast, ovary, and lung. The in vivo targeting by these antibodies is related to their localization in nonnecrotic areas of tumors. Repeated administration of 16.88 over 5 weeks to a cumulative dose of 1,000 mg did not elicit a HAHA response. Two of 53 patients developed a low titer of HAHA 1 to 3 months after a single administration of 88BV59. Planar imaging of colorectal cancer with lodine-131 (131I)-16.88 was positive in two studies in 9 of 12 and 16 of 20 patients preselected by immunohistochemistry. Tumors less than 2 cm in diameter are usually not detected. The lack of immunogenicity and long tumor residence time (average = 17 days) makes 16.88 a good candidate for therapy. Radioimmunlymphoscintigraphy with indium-111 (111In)-LiLo-16.88 administered by an intramammary route was used in the presurgical staging of primary breast cancer. The negative predictive value of lymph node metastases for tumors less than 3 cm was 90.5%. Planar and single photon emission computed tomography imaging of colorectal carcinoma with technetium-99m (99mTc) 88BV59 was compared with computed tomography (CT) scan in 36 surgical patients. The antibody scan was more sensitive than the CT scan in detecting abdominal and pelvic tumors: 68% versus 40% (P<.05). The combination of antibody scan and CT scan was superior to CT scan alone: 80% versus 40% (P<.01). Lesions as small as 0.5 cm in diameter were detected by antibody scan. The CT scan appears superior to the antibody scan for liver metastases. Patients with a high serum titer of HAMA from previous exposure to murine antibodies were successfully imaged. Antibody scans obtained with 99mTc-88BV59 have imaging characteristics similar to murine antibody scans obtained with radiolabeled IgGs. The absence or weak immunogenicity of the human monoclonal antibodies makes them good candidates for radioimmunodetection and radioimmunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-179
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Nuclear Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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