Recombinant immunotoxins have been shown to cure human tumor xenografts in mice, but their biodistribution to both tumors and normal organs has not been reported. Anti-Tac(Fv)-PE38 is a single-chain recombinant immunotoxin composed of the variable heavy and light domains of the anti-Tac monoclonal antibody that reacts with the primate interleukin 2 (IL2) receptor α subunit (IL2Rα or CD25) fused to a truncated form of Pseudomonas exotoxin (PE). 125I-labeled anti-Tac(Fv)-PE38 was given i.v. to immunodeficient mice each bearing two A431 tumors, one that expresses IL2Rα (ATAC-4) and one that does not (A431, parental). A single i.v. dose of 4 µg/mouse caused complete regression of the IL2Rα + tumor. At 6 h, over 6% of the injected dose/g was found in the ATAC-4 tumor, and 2% was in the A431 tumor. Uptake in the ATAC-4 tumor was higher than in any other tissue. Sections of tumor examined by autoradiography indicated that anti-Tac(Fv)-PE38 was distributed throughout the entire tumor, with some portions having higher uptake than others. By subtracting uptake in tumors without receptor (A431) from uptake in receptor-containing tumors (ATAC-4), we calculated that at least 400 molecules/cell specifically bound to IL2Rα-positive tumor cells at 90 min and 750 molecules/cell bound at 360 min. This is similar to the 400–870 molecules/cell required for >99.9% killing of ATAC-4 cells growing as a monolayer. The results show that solid tumors in mice can be eradicated like cells in tissue culture, and that delivery of less than 1000 molecules/cell is sufficient to cause complete tumor regressions.

This content is only available via PDF.