Author(s): Link EM, Carpenter RN
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Abstract Treatment of micrometastases of HX34 human melanoma grown as xenografts in nude mice represents an advanced stage of preclinical investigations concerning targeted radiotherapy of this neoplasm using 3,7-(dimethylamino)phenazathionium chloride [methylene blue (MTB) labeled with astatine-211 (211At) (alpha-particle emitter). The therapeutic effectiveness of 211At-MTB administered i.v. was determined by a lung colony assay combined with a search for metastases to organs other than the lungs. A single dose of 211At-MTB lowered the HX34 cell surviving fraction in lungs to below 10\% almost independently of the time interval between cell inoculation and radioisotope injection and of 211At-MTB radioactivity within its investigated range. Radiation dose and the time of its administration did, however, influence the size of lung colonies. In contrast, the efficacy of 211At-MTB treatment as assessed by both surviving fraction and colony size was significantly dependent on a number of HX34 cells inoculated initially into mice. These results are explained by a short range of alpha-particles emitted by 211At and a mechanism of growth of lung colonies from tumor cells circulating with blood and blocking lung capillaries. Metastases in organs other than lungs and characteristic of control animals were not found in mice treated with 211At-MTB. The high therapeutic efficacy achieved proved that 211At-MTB is a very efficient scavenger of single melanoma cells distributed through blood and micrometastases with sizes below the limit of clinical detection.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Anthropology