In the perspective of radioimmunotherapy (RIT) of micrometastases, we compared, in multicell spheroids (MS), the uptake and retention kinetics of 125I-F(ab)'2 F6 anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) monoclonal antibody (MAb), and the affinity enhancement system (AES) using an anti-CEA/anti-DTPA-indium bispecific antibody (BsMAb) and a 125I-labeled di-DTPA-In-tyrosine-lysine bivalent hapten. We used MS of colorectal tumor cell lines expressing CEA strongly (LS 174T), weakly (HT-29) or not at all (HRT-18). Uptake and retention kinetics of 125I-F(ab)'2 F6 and 125I-BsMAb used alone gave similar results. The highest uptake values, obtained with LS 174T MS, were slightly lower with AES than with 125I-F(ab)'2 F6. However, effective retention half-lives were longer for AES than for 125I-F(ab)'2 F6 or for 111In-labeled monovalent hapten after pre-incubation of spheroids with BsMAb. Autoradiography showed the same slow and heterogeneous distribution of 125I-F(ab)'2 F6 and 125I-BsMAb. These results indicate that the 2-step technique is more favorable for RIT: uptake values were approximately the same but uptake kinetics were more rapid, and retention half-life was longer than with the one-step technique.