The murine monoclonal antibody A7 (Mab A7) against human colon cancer was chemically modified with methoxypolyethylene glycol (PEG) (Mr 5000). A high substitution of PEG molecules on Mab A7 produced a progressive reduction in antibody-binding activity. The pharmacokinetic and immunological properties of PEG-modified monoclonal antibody A7 (Mab A7) and the PEG-modified F(ab′)2 fragment, which retained their antibody-binding activity, were assessed and compared with the parent Mab A7 and the parent F(ab′)2 fragment. Blood clearance of PEG-modified antibodies appeared to be diminished by PEG modification and was fitted by a two-compartment model. Low PEG-substituted Mab A7 showed less organ uptake in the liver and spleen and similar uptake in the lung and kidney, compared with the parent Mab A7. PEG-F(ab′)2 showed less uptake in the liver and kidney. Both preparations exhibited less tissue:blood ratios in all resected organs as compared with parent antibodies. Tumor localization was enhanced by PEG modification for the F(ab′)2 fragment, but not by PEG modification for the whole Mab A7. Multiple i.v. administration of PEG-modified antibody to rabbit did not appear to elicit a measurable immune response to the antibody portion of the conjugate. In conclusion, PEG-modified antibodies are promising reagents as drug carriers to the target tumor.


This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Cancer Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture and from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Japan.

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