Spleen cells from BALB/c mice immunized with human ovarian cystadenocarcinoma extract were fused with the mouse myeloma cell line P3/NSI/1-Ag 4 in the presence of polyethylene glycol (Mr 4000). Of the 46 hybrids obtained, four secreted antibodies preferentially reactive to the immunizing ovarian tumor extract. Two of these hybrids, which showed no reaction with normal controls, were selected for cloning by the limiting dilution method. The numerous clones obtained from each hybrid were screened against a panel of five ovarian tumor extracts, pooled normal ovary extracts, and pooled normal human sera. One clone from each hybrid that showed specificity for ovarian mucinous cystadenocarcinomas was recloned to assure monoclonality and to establish a permanent hybridoma cell line. The antibodies secreted by these cell lines were of IgG1 subclass with κ light chains. These antibody-producing hybridomas were selected for further analysis of the antibody specificity by a solid-phase radioimmunoassay and quantitative absorption tests. The monoclonal antibodies recognized an antigenic determinant present only in mucinous cystadenocarcinomas of the ovary. These did not react with any other gynecological or nongynecological tumor thus far tested. The antigen was not demonstrable in any normal adult tissues tested. Among fetal tissues examined, only fetal intestine extract showed a positive reaction. The antigenic determinant recognized by these monoclonal antibodies was unrelated to carcinoembryonic antigen, normal glycoprotein, normal human serum components, or human ABO blood group materials. These antibodies, which have relatively high affinity and can be produced in large amounts, will be useful for the isolation and immunochemical characterization of this antigen. The purified antigen and the specific antibodies could be then combined in a sensitive radioimmunoassay for the early detection of the antigen in the sera and body fluids of patients with ovarian mucinous cystadenocarcinomas.

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This work was supported in part by American Cancer Society Institutional Grant In-54T-4 and Institutional Biomedical Research Support Grant.

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