The aim of this study was to localize (99m)Tc and (188)Re radionuclides to tumors, using a bispecific antibody (bsMAb) in a two-step approach where the radionuclides are attached to novel peptides incorporating moieties recognized by one arm of the bsMAb. A chemically cross-linked human/murine bsMAb, hMN-14 x 734 (Fab' x Fab'), anti-carcinoembryonic antigen [CEA] x anti-indium-DTPA was prepared as a prelude to constructing a fully humanized bsMAb for future clinical application. N,N'-o-Phenylenedimaleimide was used to cross-link the Fab' fragments of the two antibodies at their hinge regions. This construct was shown to be >92% pure and fully reactive with CEA and a divalent (indium)DTPA-peptide. For pretargeting purposes, a peptide, IMP-192 [Ac-Lys(In-DTPA)-Tyr-Lys(In-DTPA)-Lys(TscG-Cys-)-NH(2) ¿TscG = 3-thiosemicarbazonylglyoxyl¿], with two indium-DTPAs and a chelate for selectively binding (99m)Tc or (188)Re, was synthesized. IMP-192 was formulated in a "single dose" kit and later radiolabeled with (99m)Tc (94-99%) at up to 1836 Ci/mmol and with (188)Re (97%) at 459-945 Ci/mmol of peptide. [(99m)Tc]IMP-192 was shown to be stable by extensive in vitro and in vivo testing and had no specific uptake in the tumor with minimal renal uptake. The biodistribution of the hMN-14 x murine 734 bsMAb was compared alone and in a pretargeting setting to a fully murine anti-CEA (F6) x 734 bsMAb that was reported previously [Gautherot, E., Bouhou, J., LeDoussal, J.-M., Manetti, C., Martin, M., Rouvier, E., and Barbet, J. (1997) Therapy for colon carcinoma xenografts with bispecific antibody-targeted, iodine-131-labeled bivalent hapten. Cancer 80 (Suppl.), 2618-2623]. Both bsMAbs maintained their integrity and dual binding specificity in vivo, but the hMN-14 x m734 was cleared more rapidly from the blood. This coincided with an increased uptake of the hMN-14 x m734 bsMAb in the liver and spleen, suggesting an active reticuloendothelial cell recognition mechanism of this mixed species construct in naive mice. Animals bearing GW-39 human colonic cancer xenografts were injected with bsMAb (15 microg) and after allowing 24 or 72 h for the bsMAb constructs to clear from the blood (hMN-14 and murine F6 x 734, respectively), [(188)Re]IMP-192 (7 microCi) or [(99m)Tc]IMP-192 (10 microCi) was injected at a bsMAb:peptide ratio of 10:1. Tumor uptake of [(99m)Tc] or [(188)Re]IMP-192 was 12.6 +/- 5.2 and 16.9 +/- 5.5% ID/g at 3 h postinjection, respectively. Tumor/nontumor ratios were between 5.6 and 23 to 1 for every major organ, indicating that early imaging with (99m)Tc will be possible. Radiation absorbed doses showed a 4.8-, 7.2-, and a 12.6 to 1.0 tumor to blood, kidney, and liver ratios when (188)Re was used. Although this new bsMAb pretargeting approach requires further optimization, it already shows very promising targeting results for both radioimmunodetection and radioimmunotherapy of colorectal cancer.