212 Pb α-Radioimmunotherapy Targeting CD38 in Multiple Myeloma: A Preclinical Study

J Nucl Med. 2020 Jul;61(7):1058-1065. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.119.239491. Epub 2019 Dec 20.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell cancer and represents the second most frequent hematologic malignancy. Despite new treatments and protocols, including high-dose chemotherapy associated with autologous stem cell transplantation, the prognosis of MM patients is still poor. α-radioimmunotherapy (α-RIT) represents an attractive treatment strategy because of the high-linear-energy transfer and short pathlength of α-radiation in tissues, resulting in high tumor cell killing and low toxicity to surrounding tissues. In this study, we investigated the potential of α-RIT with 212Pb-daratumumab (anti-hCD38), in both in vitro and in vivo models, as well as an antimouse CD38 antibody using in vivo models. Methods: Inhibition of cell proliferation after incubation of the RPMI8226 cell line with an increasing activity (0.185-3.7 kBq/mL) of 212Pb-isotypic control or 212Pb-daratumumab was evaluated. Biodistribution was performed in vivo by SPECT/CT imaging and after death. Dose-range-finding and acute toxicity studies were conducted. Because daratumumab does not bind the murine CD38, biodistribution and dose-range finding were also determined using an antimurine CD38 antibody. To evaluate the in vivo efficacy of 212Pb-daratumumab, mice were engrafted subcutaneously with 5 × 106 RPMI8226 cells. Mice were treated 13 d after engraftment with an intravenous injection of 212Pb-daratumumab or control solution. Therapeutic efficacy was monitored by tumor volume measurements and overall survival. Results: Significant inhibition of proliferation of the human myeloma RPMI8226 cell line was observed after 3 d of incubation with 212Pb-daratumumab, compared with 212Pb-isotypic control or cold antibodies. Biodistribution studies showed a specific tumoral accumulation of daratumumab. No toxicity was observed with 212Pb-daratumumab up to 370 kBq because of lack of cross-reactivity. Nevertheless, acute toxicity experiments with 212Pb-anti-mCD38 established a toxic activity of 277.5 kBq. To remain within realistically safe treatment activities for efficacy studies, mice were treated with 185 kBq or 277.5 kBq of 212Pb-daratumumab. Marked tumor growth inhibition compared with controls was observed, with a median survival of 55 d for 277.5 kBq of 212Pb-daratumumab instead of 11 d for phosphate-buffered saline. Conclusion: These results showed 212Pb-daratumumab to have efficacy in xenografted mice, with significant tumor regression and increased survival. This study highlights the potency of α-RIT in MM treatment.

Keywords: 212Pb; CD38; multiple myeloma; α-radioimmunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1 / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lead Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnostic imaging
  • Multiple Myeloma / metabolism
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Multiple Myeloma / radiotherapy*
  • Radioimmunotherapy*
  • Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Lead Radioisotopes
  • Lead-212
  • daratumumab
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1