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Cancer Res. 2003 Aug 15;63(16):5084-90.

Targeted actinium-225 in vivo generators for therapy of ovarian cancer.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Advanced ovarian cancer is largely incurable, but initially it is frequently confined to the i.p. space. We explored i.p. radioimmunotherapy in a mouse model of human ovarian cancer. Use of a targeted actinium-225 ((225)Ac) in vivo generator of alpha particles exploits the extreme, selective cytotoxicity of alpha particles, while providing a feasible half-life to enable delivery to tumor. (225)Ac chelated with 2-(p-isothiocyanatobenzyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10 tetraacetic acid was conjugated to trastuzumab, an anti-HER-2/neu antibody. The radioimmunoconjugate was tested for immunoreactivity, internalization, and cytotoxicity using a human ovarian carcinoma cell line, SKOV3. (225)Ac-labeled trastuzumab retained immunoreactivity (50-90%), rapidly internalized into cells (50% at 2 h), and had an ED(50) of 1.3 nCi/ml after 4 days of incubation in vitro. i.p. administered (225)Ac- or (111)In-labeled trastuzumab behaved similarly with high tumor uptake [56-60% injected dose per gram (% ID/g) at 4 h, which increased to 65-70% ID/g at 24 h]. Tumor uptake was 3-5-fold higher than liver and spleen, the normal organs with the highest uptake. i.v. administration of (111)In-labeled trastuzumab produced slightly higher normal organ uptake compared with i.p.-administered (111)In-labeled trastuzumab. However, tumor uptake was low, 5%-26% ID/g. Therapy was examined with native trastuzumab and 220, 330, and 450 nCi of (225)Ac-labeled trastuzumab or (225)Ac-labeled control antibody at different dosing schedules. Therapy was initiated 9 days after tumor seeding. Groups of control mice and those administered native trastuzumab had median survivals of 33 and 37 or 44 days, respectively. Median survival was 52-126 days with (225)Ac-labeled trastuzumab at various doses and schedules, and 48-64 days for (225)Ac-labeled control the same schedules. Deaths from toxicity occurred with the highest activity levels. In conclusion, i.p. administration with a (225)Ac-labeled internalizing anti-HER-2/neu antibody can extend survival significantly in a nude mouse model of human ovarian cancer at levels that produce no apparent gross toxicity.

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