In vitro and preclinical targeted alpha therapy for melanoma, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. Jul-Aug 2001;39(1-2):139-46. doi: 10.1016/s1040-8428(01)00113-5.


Targeted alpha therapy (TAT) can inhibit the growth of micrometastases by selectively killing isolated and preangiogenic clusters of cancer cells. The alpha emitting radioisotopes Tb-149 and Bi-213 were chelated to cancer specific monoclonal antibodies to form alpha-immunoconjugates (AIC) against melanoma, leukaemia, prostate and colorectal cancer, and to the plasminogen activator inhibitor type-2 (PAI2) to form alpha-PAI2 (API) against breast and prostate cancer. These conjugates were found to be highly stable, specific and cytotoxic in vitro. Melanoma and breast cancer tumour growth was observed in nude mouse models for untreated controls and non-specific AIC/API at 2 days post-subcutaneous inoculation of cancer cells. Complete inhibition of melanoma and breast cancer growth was found for local injections of AIC and API, respectively. Intra-lesional TAT of established melanoma showed that all melanomas regressed with 100 microCi injections of AIC. These results point to the potential application of local and systemic TAT in the management of metastatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alpha Particles
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / therapeutic use
  • Bismuth
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoconjugates / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 2 / therapeutic use
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radioimmunotherapy / methods*
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Survival Rate
  • Terbium
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 2
  • Radioisotopes
  • Terbium
  • Bismuth