Lymphoscintigraphy in melanoma: Initial evaluation of a low protein dose monoclonal antibody cocktail

R. L. Wahl, M. Liebert, J. Headington, B. S. Wilson, B. L. Shulkin, J. W. Johnson, S. Mallette, R. B. Natale, W. Coon, M. East, R. Davenport, M. B. Brown, J. T. Niederhuber, N. A. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A low protein dose (73 ± 10 μg total) 131I-labeled monoclonal antibody cocktail made of equal μg quantities of 225.28S (IgG2a) and 763.24T (IgG1) murine monoclonal antibodies, which bind additively to a high molecular weight antigen of melanoma, was evaluated as a lymphoscintigraphic agent in 17 patients with intermediate to thick (mean Breslow depth, 3.39 ± 0.64 mm) melanomas or clinical Stage II disease scheduled for nodal dissection. Eleven of the patients were clinically Stage I while 6 were clinically Stage II. 131I antibody cocktail, 258 ± 10 μCi, was administered s.c. at the site of the primary melanoma or its scar following surgical removal. In eight patients, 63 ± 8 μCi of 125I nonspecific normal sheep IgG was coadministered s.c. Gamma camera imaging was conducted beginning immediately after and continuing for several days following injection. Surgical resection, weighing, and gamma counting of the draining lymph nodes were undertaken in all patients. On gamma scans, early nodal uptake of antibody was most pronounced and of longest duration in the tumor pathologically positive patients (5 of 7 had visible nodal uptake, 4 of 7 visually stable or rising with time), with the t( 1/2 ) of nodal clearance by gamma scan significantly (P < 0.05) longer than in the negative patients in whom 4 of 10 showed some, although generally transient (0 of 10 stable or rising), nodal uptake. Scans were not easily interpretable when the injection site was very near the draining nodal group, in part due to the detection of scatter activity from the injection site. In several instances the scan was correct and the clinical examination was incorrect as regards nodal sease. Quantitative analysis of the surgically excised draining nodes showed significantly (P < 0.001) more 131I-anti-melanoma antibody uptake in the 21 tumor-involved nodes [0.01217% injected dose (ID)/node median] than in the 512 tumor-negative nodes (0.00051% ID/node median). Median percentage ID/g of anti-melanoma antibody in tumor-involved nodes was significantly greater (P < 0.01) than in tumor-negative nodes (0.01984 versus 0.003215% ID/g). 125I-labeled nonspecific antibody did not accumulate significantly more in the tumor-involved nodes on a per node or per g basis in the 283 of 533 nodes studied using the dual-label approach (0.0036 versus 0.00092% ID/g). These data demonstrate that by external imaging and by tissue counting that a radiolabeled anti-melanoma monoclonal antibody cocktail can specifically accumulate to melanoma-involved lymph nodes following s.c. administration. While these results are promising and demonstrate the feasibility of the method, additional clinical study of this low protein antibody cocktail approach will be necessary to more fully evaluate the utility of the technique for the evaluation of nodal involvement in melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941s-948s
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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