Treatment of recurrent and cystic malignant gliomas by a single intracavity injection of 131I monoclonal antibody: feasibility, pharmacokinetics and dosimetry

Br J Cancer. 1993 Jan;67(1):144-51. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1993.25.


A pilot study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of infusing 131I labelled monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) into either the cavity remaining after resection of malignant glioma or into glioma cysts. Of the seven patients recruited into the study, two had cystic lesions and five resection cavities. Six of the seven were treated after relapse from primary therapy. All patients apart from one, were given a single injection of 131I conjugated to a MoAb (ERIC-1) recognising the human neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM). One patient received a further injection of 131I-MoAb after regrowth of their disease. Pharmacokinetic studies revealed that the MoAb remained predominantly in the tumour cavity with little leakage into the systemic compartment. This resulted in a high calculated dose of radiation being delivered to the tumour cells either lining or within close proximity to the cavity/cyst wall. In such a small study, it is not possible to determine accurately response rates, but individual patient responses were observed. This, along with the low toxicity noted, demonstrates the feasibility of using 131I-MoAbs in this way. With 131I, radiation dose is deposited in tissue to a depth of 1 mm from the source. The possibility of applying isotopes such as 90Yttrium which will irradiate tumour/tissue to a greater depth (6 mm) is discussed in context with the biology of glioma infiltration into normal brain parenchyma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Bone Marrow / radiation effects
  • Brachytherapy*
  • Cysts / metabolism
  • Cysts / radiotherapy
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Glioma / metabolism
  • Glioma / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunotoxins / adverse effects
  • Immunotoxins / metabolism
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use*
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / adverse effects
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Radioimmunodetection
  • Radiotherapy Dosage


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunotoxins
  • Iodine Radioisotopes