In vivo distribution of adoptively transferred indium-111-labeled tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and peripheral blood lymphocytes in patients with metastatic melanoma

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1989 Nov 15;81(22):1709-17. doi: 10.1093/jnci/81.22.1709.


Patients with metastatic melanoma undergoing therapy with cyclophosphamide (CPM), tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) were studied for the ability of their 111In-labeled TIL or peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) to localize in sites of tumor using gamma camera imaging and biopsies. Nineteen infusions of radiolabeled TIL were given to 18 patients, while five patients received radiolabeled autologous PBL during TIL therapy. Clear tumor localization was seen on 13 of 18 nuclear scan series performed on 111In-TIL recipients, while tumor was imaged in only one of four scan sequences on patients given 111In-PBL. Nineteen paired biopsies of tumor and normal skin were completed on 10 patients receiving 111In-TIL, while eight biopsies were done on three PBL patients receiving 111In-PBL. The mean percentage of total injectate activity localizing per gram of tumor tissue was 0.0049% in the TIL group and 0.0010% in the PBL group (P2 = .0004). The mean of the tumor to normal skin ratios of the 111In-TIL group was three times that for 111In-PBL (P2 = .0072). One patient was studied by nuclear scanning on three consecutive treatment courses of CPM, TIL, and IL-2. He initially demonstrated clear tumor localization by 111In-TIL at several sites, then faint localization with 111In-PBL at a single site, and subsequently positive tumor imaging on repeat 111In-TIL infusion at multiple sites. These results confirm and expand our initial data demonstrating that human TIL transferred with CPM pretreatment and followed by IL-2 preferentially localize to tumor sites and indicate that this localization is greater for TIL than PBL.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Indium Radioisotopes* / pharmacokinetics
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Interleukin-2 / administration & dosage*
  • Lymphocytes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Interleukin-2
  • Cyclophosphamide