mAb hCTM01 binds a carcinoma-associated antigen, the MUC1 gene product. The antigen is also present in the circulation, and administration of 111In-labelled hCTM01 results in the formation of immune complexes with enhanced accumulation in the liver. To avoid the unwanted effect of circulating radioactive immune complexes, a strategy to remove the circulating antigen was investigated using a split-dosage schedule. Eleven patients suspected of having ovarian carcinoma were injected with 1 mg/kg unlabelled hCTM01, 1 h before receiving 0.1 mg/kg 111In-labelled hCTM01 (100 M Bq). The amount of radioactivity was determined in resected tumour tissue, various normal tissues and blood samples obtained at laparotomy 6 days postinjection (p.i.). In all patients, the circulating antigen decreased to its nadir after the unlabelled antibody infusion and immune complex formation was demonstrated. Uptake in tumour deposits 6 days p.i. was 11.1 times higher than in normal tissues (P < 0.0001) and 5.9 times higher than in blood (P < 0.0001). 111In activity in liver tissue was comparable to 111In uptake in tumour tissue, and considerably lower than previously reported in patients not pretreated with unlabelled antibody. The split-dosing strategy would appear to be advantageous for use of hCTM01 as a specific carrier for the delivery of cytotoxic agents to patients with ovarian cancer.