Use of specific antibody for rapid clearance of circulating blood background from radiolabeled tumor imaging proteins

David Goodwin, Claude Meares, Carol Diamanti, Michael McCall, Corazon Lai, Frank Torti, Maureen McTigue, Brian Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


A major problem that arises when radiolabeled serum proteins are used for tumor imaging is the presence of a large amount of circulating background activity that persists for several days. This delays imaging for at least 2 days following injection and necessitates computer subtraction of simulated background (second radiopharmaceutical injection) which introduces artifacts that are difficult to control. We propose here the injection of specific antibody immediately before imaging as an alternate way of reducing blood background through clearance of the immune complex by the liver. 111In-alkyl human transferrin and IgG were injected IV in BALB/c tumor mice, and followed in 18 h by anti-human transferrin and anti-human IgG antibody IV. Two hours later, the tumor and organ distribution of activity was compared with control mice not receiving antibody. 111In-transferrin blood activity was reduced to 1/48 of control with no decrease in tumor concentration: as a result, the tumor to blood ratio increased from 1.4:1 to 78:1. 111In-IgG blood activity was reduced to 1/17 of control, again with no decrease in tumor. The tumor to blood ratios increased from 0.7:1 to 17:1. The liver picked up most of the blood activity with none of the complex going to spleen, bone marrow, or kidney. Dog experiments showed clearance of blood was 90% complete in less than 15 min following antibody injection. Simultaneous scintillation images showed complete clearance of activity from the heart and great vessels in the chest and neck, and over the abdomen, with a concomitant increase in liver activity but no increase in spleen, kidney, or bone marrow activity. These studies show the feasibility of using specific antibody to lower the blood background just minutes prior to tumor imaging procedures using radiolabeled proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal Of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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