Antibody-guided radiation therapy of cancer

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2005 Dec;24(4):539-67. doi: 10.1007/s10555-005-6195-z.


Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) using radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against tumor-associated antigens has evolved from an appealing concept to one of the standard treatment options for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Inefficient localization of radiolabeled MAbs to nonhematological cancers due to various tumor-related factors, however, has refrained RIT from outgrowing the experimental stage in solid tumors. Still, small volume or minimal residual disease has been recognized as a potentially suitable target for radiolabeled antibodies. Several strategies are being explored aimed at improving the targeting of radiolabeled MAbs to solid tumors thus improving their therapeutic efficacy. In this review, a historical overview of the application of RIT is given and various aspects of the application of radiolabeled MAbs as anti-cancer agents are discussed. Finally, the clinical results of RIT of NHL, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and renal cell cancer are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotoxins / immunology
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radioimmunotherapy / methods*
  • Radioisotopes / administration & dosage
  • Radioisotopes / adverse effects
  • Radiometry


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Immunotoxins
  • Radioisotopes