Improved radioimmunolocalization of human tumor xenografts following subcutaneous delivery of monoclonal antibodies

Richard L. Wahl, Linda Laino, Susan Fisher, Miriam Schteingart, William H. Beierwaltes

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3 Scopus citations


The localization of a radiolabeled murine monoclonal antibody reactive with choriocarcinomas to human choriocarcinoma xenografts following intravenous and subcutaneous injection was evaluated by gamma scanning and tissue sampling. Tumor xenografts were established in the popliteal node region of athymic nude mice after repeated innoculations of the hind foot pads with BEWO choriocarcinoma cells. In dual label specific antibody studies, tumor/non tumor uptake ratios following subcutaneous (resulting in considerable intralymphatic uptake) injection of 131I-5F9.3 were significantly higher than those achieved post simultaneous intravenous injection of 125I-5F9.3. Double label experiments with 131I-5F9.3 and a nonspecific antibody, 125I-UPC-10, following subcutaneous injection, demonstrated that the high localization to popliteal region tumors was largely due to antibody specificity. Gamma scans following subcutaneous antibody administration of specific antibody to tumor bearing animals showed tumors soon after subcutaneous injection, at times earlier than those typically seen following intravenous delivery. Similar subcutaneous injections showed little normal nodal uptake in BALB/c control animals on gamma scans. No correlation was seen between tumor localization by specific antibody between the intravenous and intralymphatic routes, implying a difference in the mechanisms of tumor uptake of antibody by these two routes. The subcutaneous approach to antibody delivery offers advantages over intravenous delivery in tumors of human origin, including higher tumor/non tumor ratios and earlier imaging times. This was true even though these tumors were many times larger than normal lymph nodes. This subcutaneous delivery advantage should be exploitable in imaging nodal metastases of human tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-536
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1988


  • Choriocarcinoma
  • Lymph node
  • Lymphoscintigraphy
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • Radioimmunodetection


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