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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1993 Sep 15;85(18):1508-13.

Radiopharmaceutical therapy of 5T33 murine myeloma by sequential treatment with samarium-153 ethylenediaminetetramethylene phosphonate, melphalan, and bone marrow transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Fremantle Hospital, Australia.



Total-body irradiation, followed by hematopoietic system rescue by bone marrow transplantation (BMT), has been found to improve the response of patients with multiple myeloma to treatment with melphalan. The problems of nonhematopoietic toxicity from whole-body irradiation might be circumvented by using a bone-seeking radiopharmaceutical, such as samarium-153 ethylenediaminetetramethylene phosphonate (153Sm-EDTMP), to ablate the bone marrow.


A mouse model system for multiple myeloma was used to evaluate the potential therapeutic efficacy of sequential therapy with 153Sm-EDTMP, melphalan, and BMT.


Female C57BL/KaLwRij mice were inoculated with 8 x 10(5) 5T33 murine myeloma cells. Treatment protocols were begun 3 or 10 days later, when the myeloma was either confined to bone marrow or disseminated in liver, spleen, and lymph nodes, simulating human multiple myeloma. 153Sm, a potent beta particle-emitting radioisotope of short half-life (46.7 hours), was linked to the bone-seeking chelate EDTMP. Animals in the first treatment group were each given 22.5 MBq 153Sm-EDTMP via the jugular vein (day 3 or 10), followed by 18.5 mg/kg melphalan (maximum tolerated dose) given intraperitoneally 5 days later (day 8 or 15) and syngeneic BMT another 2 days later (day 10 or 17). Survival in groups of six to 10 animals for each time series was compared with that in mice left untreated (control cohort), in mice treated with 153Sm-EDTMP alone (day 3 or 10), or in mice treated with melphalan alone (day 8 or 15). The hematopoietic systems of animals in the latter two treatment groups recovered full function, obviating the necessity of BMT. The end point was onset of paraparesis, at which time the animals were immediately killed by carbon dioxide asphyxiation.


Median survival in untreated control animals was 23 days in those with localized disease and 24 days in those with disseminated myeloma. Treatment with 153Sm-EDTMP alone improved survival to a median of 29 days when commenced on day 3 and 30 days when begun on day 10. Melphalan treatment alone improved the median survival to 31 days for animals with localized myeloma and 34 days in animals with disseminated disease. Additional improvement in survival to a median of 42 days was achieved in animals treated 3 days after tumor inoculation with sequential 153Sm-EDTMP, melphalan, and BMT; median survival was 40 days using this regimen in animals with disseminated myeloma.


Animals in all three treatment protocols survived longer than those left untreated after inoculation with myeloma cells (P < .001). Sequential treatment with 153Sm-EDTMP, melphalan, and BMT was significantly more effective than single-agent treatment (P < .01). No evidence of radiotoxicity was detected in nonhematopoietic organs.


The survival advantage conferred by our sequential treatment protocol suggests its potential clinical usefulness in the treatment of multiple myeloma and other hematologic malignancies in humans.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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