Quantitative analysis of antibody localization in human metastatic colon cancer: A phase I study of monoclonal antibody A33
A33 is a mouse immunoglobulin G2a (IgG2a) monoclonal antibody (mAb) that detects a heat-stable, protease- and neuraminidase-resistant epitope. The antigen is homogeneously expressed by virtually all colon cancers and in the colon mucosa but not other epithelial tissues. The biodistribution and imaging characteristics of iodine-131 (131I)-mAbA33 were studied in colorectal carcinoma patients with hepatic metastases. Antibody labeled with 2 to 5 mCi of 131I was administered intravenously (IV) 7 to 8 days before surgery at five dose levels, ranging from 0.2 mg to 50 mg, with three or more patients entered at each dose level. In addition, three patients received 2 mg 131I-mAbTA99 (an isotype-matched control mAb) together with 125I-mAbA33. Evaluation included whole-body imaging with a gamma camera, technetium-99 (99mTc)-human serum albumin blood pool scans, liver/spleen scans, abdominal computed tomographic (CT) scans, hepatic arteriograms, antibody pharmacokinetics, and assessment of antibody distribution in biopsied malignant and normal tissues. Selective mAbA33 localization to tumor tissue was demonstrated in 19 of 20 patients, and external imaging correlated with surgical inspection, pathologic examination, and tissue radioactivity. One week after antibody administration, tumor:liver ratios ranged from 6.9:1 to 100:1 and tumor:serum ratios from 4.1:1 to 25.2:1. 99mTc-albumin blood pool studies showed that liver metastases were hypovascular, emphasizing the selective localization of mAbA33 despite poor tumor-blood flow. Control mAbTA99 studies showed mAbA33 localization was antigen-specific; tumor:liver ratios were 2.3- to 45-fold higher for specific antibody. In metastatic lesions, radioisotope was localized primarily in the viable periphery; however, even the necrotic tumor core concentrated specific antibody. External imaging showed isotope visualization in some patients' large bowel; whether this represents specific antibody uptake or gastric iodine secretion is unclear.