This trial was conducted to determine the pharmacokinetics, dosimetry, dose-limiting toxicity, and the maximum tolerated dose of iodine-131 humanized MN-14 immunoglobulin G (131I-hMN-14 IgG), a humanized complementary-determining region-grafted anti-carcinoembryonic antigen monoclonal antibody, in metastatic gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer patients. Patients were divided into 2 groups: group A consisted of patients who had prior external beam radiation therapy (n = 8), and group B included patients who had received standard chemotherapy (n = 13). All patients received a diagnostic infusion of 131I-hMN-14 IgG (approximately 8.0 mCi, 15 mg/m2) to study the pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and dosimetry. One week later, 17 of 21 patients received infusional therapy of escalating radioactive doses of 131I-hMN-14 IgG. Blood pharmacokinetics and quantitative imaging were performed again after the therapeutic dose. Radiation-absorbed doses to normal organs and tumors were determined by MIRDOSE-3 algorithms. The primary dose-limiting toxicity was hematologic toxicity at 40 mCi/m2. The blood half-life (n = 20) was identical for the diagnostic and therapy infusions. The mean red marrow dose was 2.2 +/- 2.4 cGy/mCi. The mean tumor radiation dose (n = 8) was 24.2 +/- 22.6 cGy/mCi. Tumor targeting was seen in most large metastatic lesions. No objective responses were seen in these heavily pretreated and mostly advanced patients. In conclusion, 131I-hMN-14 IgG has good targeting, good tumor to normal organs radiation absorbed ratios, and an acceptable toxicity profile in advanced metastatic gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer patients.