Cure of Micrometastatic B-Cell Lymphoma in a SCID Mouse Model Using 213Bi-Anti-CD20 Monoclonal Antibody

Gregory T. Havlena, Nirav S. Kapadia, Peng Huang, Hong Song, James Engles, Martin Brechbiel, George Sgouros, Richard L. Wahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We studied the feasibility of using the a-emitting 213Bi-anti-CD20 therapy with direct bioluminescent tracking of micrometastatic human B-cell lymphoma in a SCID mouse model. Methods: A highly lethal SCID mouse model of minimal-tumor-burden disseminated non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) was established using human Raji lymphoma cells transfected to express the luciferase reporter. In vitro and in vivo radioimmunotherapy experiments were conducted. Single- and multiple-dose regimens were explored, and results with 213Bi-rituximab were compared with various controls, including no treatment, free 213Bi radiometal, unlabeled rituximab, and 213Bi-labeled anti-HER2/neu (non–CD20-specific antibody). 213Bi-rituximab was also compared in vivo with the low-energy b-emitter 131I-tositumomab and the high-energy b-emitter 90Y-rituximab. Results: In vitro studies showed dose-dependent target-specific killing of lymphoma cells with 213Bi-rituximab. Multiple in vivo studies showed significant and specific tumor growth delays with 213Bi-rituximab versus free 213Bi, 213Bi-labeled control antibody, or unlabeled rituximab. Redosing of 213Bi-rituximab was more effective than single dosing. With a single dose of therapy given 4 d after intravenous tumor inoculation, disease in all untreated controls, and in all mice in the 925-kBq 90Y-rituximab group, progressed. With 3,700 kBq of 213Bi-rituximab, 75% of the mice survived and all but 1 survivor was cured. With 2,035 kBq of 131I-tositumomab, 75% of the mice were tumor-free by bioluminescent imaging and 62.5% survived. Conclusion: Cure of micrometastatic NHL is achieved in most animals treated 4 d after intravenous tumor inoculation using either 213Bi-rituximab or 131I-tositumomab, in contrast to the lack of cures with unlabeled rituximab or 90Y-rituximab or if there was a high tumor burden before radioimmunotherapy. a-emitter–labeled anti-CD20 antibodies are promising therapeutics for NHL, although a longer-lived a-emitter may be of greater efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Bi
  • alpha emitter
  • animal model
  • bioluminescence
  • radioimmunotherapy


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