The enzyme carboxypeptidase G2 (CPG2) can be targeted to tumors by antibodies and used to activate prodrugs in a treatment called antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (ADEPT). Different doses of CPG2 conjugated to the anti-CEA antibody A5B7 were administered i.v. to nude mice bearing the LS174T human colon adenocarcinoma xenograft, and the biodistribution of conjugate activity 48 and 72 h later was determined using a novel high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. Conjugate doses of 2,500 and 625 U/kg gave tumor enzyme levels of 0.5-0.6 U/g. Lower doses of 300 and 150 U/kg gave tumor enzyme levels of 0.1-0.3 U/g. Intriguingly, the best tumor:blood ratio of conjugate activity at both 48 and 72 h was achieved after administration of the 625-U/kg dose, not the 2,500-U/kg dose. After 48 h this ratio was 3.8, whereas after 72 h the value was 5.5. This conjugate dose also gave the greatest tumor:tissue ratios in all other tissues examined. After 72 h the tumor:colon ratio was 105, whereas the tumor:kidney ratio was 36. In ADEPT, to obtain maximal tumor damage to LS174T xenografts in nude mice with minimal systemic toxicity using the A5B7-CPG2 conjugate, prodrug should therefore be administered at least 72 h after a conjugate dose of 625 U/kg.