Over a 4-year period, 108 patients with known or suspected colorectal cancer were studied by radioimmunoconjugate scintigraphy prior to operative procedures. Study subjects received 0.2 to 40 mg i.v. of murine anti-carcinoembryonic antigen monoclonal antibody labeled with 2–5 mCi of 111In (Indacea). Resected tissues were analyzed for 111In and carcinoembryonic antigen content. Tumor, liver, and draining lymph nodes had over 10% injected dose/kg compared to <2.5% injected dose/kg for other normal tissues. Primary tumors that were successfully imaged were significantly larger and had higher 111In and carcinoembryonic antigen content. In 54 patients, primary tumors were visualized with a sensitivity of 78%. Hepatic metastases (58 patients) were visualized as negative filling defects (sensitivity, 45%). Extrahepatic (intraabdominal) metastases (25 patients) were visualized (sensitivity, 48%) as areas of increased uptake. Extraabdominal metastases were uncommon (10 patients; sensitivity, 80%). Of 56 patients with known or suspected hepatic metastases who presented with no evidence of extrahepatic disease by conventional tests (X-ray, computerized tomographic scan), 20 (36%) were documented to have extrahepatic metastases at exploratory surgery and 10 of these (50%) had the extrahepatic disease localized by the Indacea scan. The management of these 10 patients was, or could have been, modified by the scan findings and unnecessary surgery eliminated.

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Presented at the “Second Conference on Radioimmunodetection and Radioimmunotherapy of Cancer,” September 8–10, 1988, Princeton, NJ. Supported in part by NIH Individual Project Grant CA 43239, Cancer Center Core Grant CA 33572, Program Project Grant CA 43904, and Training Grant T32 CA09477.

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