Growth delay was measured in TK-82 renal cell carcinoma (RCC) xenografts implanted in nude mice receiving single fraction external beam irradiation (SF-XRT), multifraction external beam irradiation (MF-XRT), or radioimmunotherapy (RIT). Thermoluminescent dosimeter(s) (TLD) and autoradiography were used to ascertain the average absorbed dose delivered and the degree of heterogeneous uptake of radiolabeled antibody for the RIT irradiations. For intravenous administered activities of 100, 200, 400, and 600 microCi of I-131 labeled A6H antibody, volume doubling times (VDT) and TLD absorbed dose measurements for each administered activity were 7 days (341 cGy), 38 days (383 cGy), 85 days (886 cGy) and no regrowth (1034 cGy), respectively. For SF-XRT irradiations of 500, 1000, and 1500 cGy, VDT times were 11, 62, and 103 days, respectively. MF-XRT of 4 X 250 cGy over a 2-week period yielded a VDT of 25 days. Marked peripheral activity deposition was noted on most autoradiographs from multiple tumor samples. These data suggest that an equivalent to superior tumor growth delay is obtained for absorbed doses delivered by exponentially decaying low dose rate radioimmunotherapy RIT compared to similar doses of acute dose rate XRT as quantitated by the TLD method.