Wolfgang Becker

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany

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Publications (23)100.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Uptake of radiolabeled peptides in the kidneys may obscure abdominal tumors in radiopeptide scintigraphy. This problem is much more pronounced in peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (i.e., radiopeptide therapy), possibly leading to renal damage or even failure. Cationic peptide uptake in the kidneys can be reduced by the application of cationic amino acids, such as lysine or arginine. The aim of this study was to develop a suitable method to reduce anionic peptide uptake in the kidneys. (111)In-Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid dGlu(1)-minigastrin ((111)In-DTPA-dGlu-Glu-Glu-Glu-Glu-Glu-Ala-Tyr-Gly-Trp-Met-Asp-Phe-NH(2)) was chosen as a model compound with a sequence of 6 negatively charged glutamic acids in a chain and an additional aspartic acid. TT (human medullary carcinoma cells)-bearing nu/nu mice of the Institute of Cancer Research genotype received intraperitoneal injections of different chain lengths and weights of glutamic acids, aspartic acids, and derivatives of glutamic acids. Uptake in tumors and organs was determined and compared with the values for untreated control mice. Accretion of (111)In-DTPA-dGlu(1)-minigastrin in the kidneys could be reduced by up to 90%. The uptake values for all other organs and the tumors were not affected. These results were obtained with a chain of 5 or more glutamic acids, whereas uptake in kidneys was affected not at all or only slightly with poly-d-glutamic or polyaspartic acids and with Glu(x) (x = 1-4). These studies indicated a specific blocking of uptake by Glu(5) sequences in the kidneys. Application of polyglutamic acids is a new, successful method of reducing uptake of negatively charged peptides in the kidneys during radiopeptide therapy.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 07/2005; 46(6):1012-5. · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of monofunctional DTPA derivatives has been a major breakthrough in the labelling of proteins or peptides with a variety of radiometals. Although this methodology is simple and useful for indium-111 labelling, the stability of these conjugates is too low for most therapeutic nuclides. Cyclic chelators, such as DOTA, have shown excellent kinetic stability with a variety of radiometals, but the labelling procedure is more difficult, requiring ultra-pure reagents and a heating step that sometimes endangers the biomolecule's integrity. The aim of this work was twofold: (a) to develop a novel, open chain chelator which can be easily labelled with various radiometals, displaying higher kinetic stability than monofunctional DTPA, and (b) to evaluate this chelator in vitro and in vivo when conjugated to a CCK-B receptor ligand as a detection modality for receptor-(over-)expressing tumours. DTPA derivatives of Leu(1)- and dGlu(1)-minigastrin were synthesised. All conjugates could be labelled with (111)In or (88/90)Y at high specific activities (8.5-44.4 GBq/micro mol) and with high radiochemical purity. Serum stability testing was performed, and the labelled conjugates were compared concerning their stability against DTPA challenge. The biodistribution of the radiolabelled Leu(1)- and dGlu(1)-minigastrin derivatives was studied in tumour-bearing nude mice, in one healthy human volunteer and in three patients with metastatic medullary thyroid carcinoma. The transchelation of all tested radiometals to serum proteins was significantly slower with the DTPA-Glu conjugates as compared with their Leu analogues (e.g. transchelation t(1/2) of DTPA- dGlu(1)-minigastrin vs its Leu(1) analogue at 37 degrees C in human serum for (111)In: 239 h vs 91 h; for (90)Y: 130 h vs 53 h). In animals, all labelled CCK-B receptor ligands showed fast and specific uptake in CCK-B-receptor-positive tissues, such as the stomach and tumour, as well as a fast renal clearance pattern. However, DTPA-Leu(1)-minigastrin showed higher background activity in the whole body and those organs known to accumulate the respective free radiometal (e.g. (88)Y-DTPA-Leu(1)-minigastrin had bone uptake of 22%ID/g as compared to only 1.2%ID/g with its dGlu(1) analogue). In humans, fast tumour and stomach uptake was observed for both (111)In-labelled compounds, but DTPA- dGlu(1)-minigastrin lacked the liver, spleen and bone marrow uptake observed with its Leu(1) analogue. In conclusion, anionic amino acid derivatives of DTPA may display improved metabolic stability as compared with monofunctional DTPA conjugates. DTPA- dGlu(1)-minigastrin is preferred to "monofunctional" DTPA-Leu(1)-minigastrin for diagnostic application with (111)In for the in vivo detection of CCK-B receptor-expressing tissues.
    European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 09/2003; 30(8):1140-6. · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD20 has been used successfully as a target molecule for conventional low-dose, as well as high-dose, myeloablative radioimmunotherapy (RIT) of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an especially aggressive, prognostically unfavorable subtype of B-cell NHL, associated with an overall 5-year survival rate of less than 20%. Recent evidence has failed to show convincing therapeutic efficacy of conventional, nonmyeloablative RIT in patients with MCL. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether high-dose, myeloablative RIT with the iodine-131 ((131)I)-labeled chimeric anti-CD20 antibody C2B8 (rituximab, obtained as Mabthera from Roche Pharma, Reinach, Switzerland) is therapeutically effective in MCL patients. A total of seven patients with chemorefractory or relapsed MCL were studied in this pilot trial. All had relapsed after high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (four of them combined with 12 grays (Gy) total-body irradiation). A diagnostic-dosimetric study was performed with approximately 10 mCi of (131)I-labeled C2B8 at a protein dose of 2.5 mg per kg body weight, in order to assess its biodistribution and dosimetry. If splenic pooling was observed, as is typically the case in patients with splenomegaly, the protein dose was doubled in additional studies until a "favorable" biodistribution was obtained. Therapy was performed with myeloablative doses of 261-495 mCi of (131)I-labeled C2B8 at the previously optimized protein dose, aiming at lung doses less-than-or-equal 27 Gy. Homologous stem cell support was provided. Clinical follow-up was obtained at 3-month intervals for up to 38 months (median observation time, 25 months). Overall, in six patients the 2.5 mg/kg protein dose was used, whereas in one patient with splenomegaly, 10 mg/kg was necessary to overcome the splenic antigenic sink. Blood cell nadirs were reached at 2-3 weeks after therapy infusion, but all patients reengrafted at 7-10 days after stem cell reinfusion. Nonhematologic toxicity was restricted to mild-to-moderate nausea, fever, transient bilirubin, or liver enzyme elevations. One patient with preexisting alcoholic cirrhosis experienced a deterioration of liver function. Despite thyroid blocking, 5 of 7 patients developed hypothyroidism, requiring thyroxine substitution at 6-18 months after RIT. Six patients experienced a complete and one a good partial remission. Five patients were still in CR at the time this article was written, and six are still alive for more than 3 years; one patient relapsed locally at 3 months and one systemically at 26 months after RIT. High-dose myeloablative radioimmunotherapy with (131)I-labeled anti-CD20 antibodies seems to be associated with a high response rate and moderate toxicity in patients with MCL. Further follow-up to monitor the long-term outcome as well as systematic prospective clinical studies are indicated.
    Cancer 03/2002; 94(4 Suppl):1363-72. · 5.20 Impact Factor
  • European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 03/2002; 29(2):277-9. · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Whereas radioimmunotherapy (RIT) has shown disappointing results in bulky, solid tumors, preclinical results in small-volume disease and in an adjuvant setting are promising. In a previous Phase I study, the authors had encouraging results with the iodine-131 (131I)–labeled humanized anti–carcinoembryonic antigen (anti-CEA) antibody (MAb) hMN-14 in small-volume disease of colorectal cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate, in a subsequent Phase II trial, the therapeutic efficacy of this 131I-labeled humanized anti-CEA antibody in colorectal cancer patients with small-volume disease or in an adjuvant setting.METHODS Thirty colorectal cancer patients, with small-volume metastatic disease (n = 21; all lesions ≤ 3.0 cm, and chemorefractory to 5-fluorouracil and folinic acid) or in an adjuvant setting (n = 9), 4–6 weeks after surgical resection of liver metastases with curative intention, were studied. The patients were given a single injection of 131I-hMN-14 immunoglobulin G at a 60 mCi/m2 dose level, which was shown to be the maximum tolerated dose in the previous Phase I study. Follow-up was obtained at 3-month intervals for as long as 36 months.RESULTSAt a mean blood-based red marrow dose of 1.8 ± 0.8 Gy, myelotoxicity was the only toxicity observed, but only 1 of 28 assessable patients developed transient Grade 4 thrombocytopenia. Of the 21 patients with radiologically documented lesions, 19 were assessable. Three experienced partial remission and eight showed minor responses up to 15 months in duration (corresponding to an objective response rate of 16% and an overall response rate of 58%; the mean duration of response was 9 months). At the time this article was written, seven of nine patients in the adjuvant setting had remained free of disease for up to 36 months (one patient relapsed after 6 months and another after 30 months), whereas the relapse rate in a historical control group receiving chemotherapy was 67% over the same time period. Five patients with radiologically documented lesions, having experienced at least disease stabilization as a consequence of RIT, were retreated at the same 60-mCi/m2 dose level at 8–16 months after the first therapy. No evidence of increased toxicity was observed (no hematologic toxicity was higher than Grade 3). Two of four assessable retreated patients experienced partial remissions; one of these four again experienced disease stabilization as a consequence of the second radioantibody therapy injection.CONCLUSIONS These data suggest that RIT is a safe and effective form of therapy for small-volume colorectal cancer and has potential as treatment for colorectal cancer in an adjuvant setting. Toxicity is restricted to mild and transient leuko- and thrombocytopenia. Retreatment seems to be a feasible option. A prospective randomized comparison with standard chemotherapy is indicated. Cancer 2002;94:1373–81. © 2002 American Cancer Society.DOI 10.1002/cncr.10308
    Cancer 02/2002; 94(S4):1373 - 1381. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    Johannes Meller, C O Sahlman, Wolfgang Becker
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    ABSTRACT: Since 1942, therapy with radioiodine (RIT) has gained a major role in the treatment of benign thyroid disorders, notably hyperthyroidism caused by Graves' disease or toxic multinodular goitre (thyroid autonomy). In iodine deficient areas thyroid autonomy accounts for 40-50% of all cases with hyperthyroidism. RIT has become a cost-effective first-line procedure in autonomy-patients with latent or overt hyperthyroidism, especially in the absence of a large goitre, after thyroid surgery and in elderly patients with associated conditions who carry a high intra- or perioperative risk. Decisions concerning the definitive treatment of thyroid autonomy should take into account previous episodes of hyperthyroidism, objective parameters of risk stratification in euthyroid patients as well as concomitant diseases and the probability of iodine exposure in the future. In Central Europe the majority of investigators prefer to estimate the therapeutic activity individually by a radioiodine test. TCTUs (global 99m-Tc-pertechnetate thyroid uptake under suppression)-based dose concepts have been proven to be highly effective in the elimination of autonomy and carry a low (< 10%) risk of post-radioiodine-therapeutic hypothyroidism. Radioiodine therapy for autonomy has been found to be both effective and safe and without major early or late side effects. The most frequent complication is hypothyroidism requiring lifelong follow-up.
    Nuclear medicine review. Central & Eastern Europe: journal of Bulgarian, Czech, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Yugoslav societies of nuclear medicine and Ukrainian Society of Radiology 01/2002; 5(1):1-10.
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    ABSTRACT: Nuclear medicine (scintigraphy) studies that are performed in patients being prepared for regular dialysis treatment include the measurement of renal clearance and dynamic studies of renal perfusion and function. Static scintigraphy with 99mTc-DMSA may be used in the evaluation of children at risk of renal damage and further functional deterioration. In patients on peritoneal dialysis, nuclear medicine procedures enable the diagnosis of structural complications such as intra-abdominal herniations and leaks. Diagnosis of infections of the vascular access sites in patients on hemodialysis and of the catheter tunnel in patients on peritoneal dialysis can be made with high diagnostic accuracy using radiolabeled, autologous leukocytes. Scintigraphy is valuable in delineating the extent of deposits of amyloid and parenchymal microcalcifications, and may be helpful in the functional evaluation of organs and tissues involved in the pathophysiology of renal impairment and dialysis. If radioiodine therapy with 131I is performed in patients on hemodialysis with benign or malignant thyroid disease, then pretherapeutic dosimetry is necessary to avoid over- and undertreatment. Radioiodine therapy in the dialysis patient leads to only insignificant contamination of dialysis equipment and marginal exposure to the medical staff.
    Seminars in Dialysis 01/2002; 15(4):269-76. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies suggest a higher anti-tumour efficacy of internalizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) when labelled with Auger electron emitters, as compared with β-emitters. The aim of this study was to compare the anti-tumour efficacy and toxicity of the internalizing MAb, CO17-1A, labelled with Auger electron emitters (125I, 111In) versus conventional β–-emitters (131I, 90Y) in a colon cancer model, and to assess whether the residualizing radiometals may have therapeutic advantages over the conventionally iodinated conjugates. Biodistribution studies of 125I-, 111In- or 88Y-labelled CO17-1A were performed in nude mice bearing subcutaneous human colon cancer xenografts. For therapy, the mice were injected with either unlabelled or 125I-, 131I-, 111In- or 90Y-labelled CO17-1A IgG2a, whereas control groups were left untreated or were given a radiolabelled isotype-matched irrelevant antibody. The influence of internalization was assessed by comparing the results with those obtained with an anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) antibody which does not internalize to a relevant extent. The maximum tolerated activities (MTA) and doses (MTD) of each agent were determined. Myelotoxicity and potential second-organ toxicities, as well as tumour growth, were monitored. Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) was performed in order to enable dose intensification. Radiometals showed significantly better tumour-to-blood ratios than the respective iodinated conjugates. The MTAs of 131I- and 125I-CO17-1A without artificial support were 11.1 MBq (300 µCi) and 111 MBq (3 mCi), respectively; the MTA of the metals was reached at 4 MBq (100 µCi) for 90Y-, and at 85 MBq (2.3 mCi) for 111In-CO17-1A. Myelotoxicity was dose limiting in all cases. BMT enabled an increase in the MTA to 15 MBq (400 µCi) of 131I-labelled CO17-1A, to 4.4 MBq (120 µCi) of 90Y-labelled CO17-1A, and to 118 MBq (3.2 mCi) of 111In-labelled CO17-1A, while the MTA of 125I-CO17-1A had not been reached at 185 MBq (5 mCi) with BMT. Whereas no significant therapeutic effects were seen with unlabelled CO17-1A, tumour growth was retarded significantly with its radiolabelled forms. The therapeutic results were significantly (P<0.01) better with both Auger electron emitters (125I and 111In) than with the β-emitters, and, in accordance with the biodistribution data, a trend towards better therapeutic results was found with radiometals (more complete remissions) as compared with radioiodine. In contrast, at equitoxic doses, no significant difference was observed in the therapeutic efficacy of 131I- versus 125I-labelled non-internalizing anti-CEA antibody, F023C5. These data suggest that, at equitoxic doses, the therapeutic efficacy of internalizing MAbs labelled with Auger electron emitters, such as 125I or 111In, is superior to that of internalizing MAbs labelled with conventional β-emitters. The lower toxicity of Auger electron emitters may be due to the short path length of their low-energy electrons, which can reach the nuclear DNA only if the antibody is internalized (as is the case in antigen-expressing tumour tissue, but not in the stem cells of the red marrow).
    European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 05/2000; 27(7):753-765. · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whereas bivalent fragments have been widely used for radio-immunotherapy, no systematic study has been published on the therapeutic performance of monovalent conjugates in vivo. The aim of our study was, therefore, to determine the therapeutic performance of 131I-labeled Fab as compared to bivalent conjugates and to analyze factors that influence dose-limiting organ toxicity and anti-tumor efficacy. The maximum tolerated doses (MTDs) and dose-limiting organ toxicities of the 131I-labeled anti-CEA antibody MN-14 [IgG, F(ab′)2 and Fab] were determined in nude mice bearing s.c. human colon cancer xenografts. Mice were treated with or without bone marrow transplantation (BMT) or inhibition of the renal accretion of antibody fragments by D-lysine or combinations thereof. Toxicity and tumor growth were monitored. Radiation dosimetry was calculated from biodistribution data. With all 3 131I-labeled immunoconjugates [IgG, F(ab′)2 and Fab], the red marrow was the only dose-limiting organ; MTDs were 260 μCi for IgG, 1,200 μCi for F(ab′)2 and 3 mCi for Fab, corresponding to blood doses of 17 Gy, 9 Gy and 4 Gy, respectively. However, initial dose rates were 10 times higher with Fab as compared to IgG and 3 times higher as compared to F(ab′)2. The MTD of all 3 immunoconjugates was increased by BMT by approximately 30%. In accordance with renal doses below 10 Gy, no signs of nephrotoxicity were observed. Despite lower absorbed tumor doses, at equitoxic dosing, Fab fragments were more effective at controlling tumor growth than the respective bivalent fragment or IgG, probably due to higher intratumoral dose rates. Our data indicate that the improved anti-tumor effectiveness of antibody fragments as compared to IgG and the higher myelotoxicity at comparably lower red marrow doses are most likely due to the higher initial dose rates observed with antibody fragments. Int. J. Cancer 77:787–795, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 08/1998; 77(5):787 - 795. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated renal uptake and prolonged retention of radiolabeled antibody fragments and peptides is a problem in the therapeutic application of such agents. Over recent years, one of the focuses of research has therefore been to develop suitable methods to reduce this renal uptake, and to evaluate whether the resulting methodology will benefit therapy with antibody fragments and peptides. In these studies it has been shown that the kidney uptake of antibody fragments in animals can be reduced in a dose-dependent manner by almost one order of magnitude by the systemic administration of cationic amino acids and their derivatives, whereas the uptake in all other organs, as well as the tumor, remains unaffected. A similar reduction in renal retention is achieved for all intracellularly retained radionuclides (e.g., radiometals) or radioiodinated immunoconjugates, as well as for smaller peptides. Lysine is usually the preferred agent, and its d- and l-isomers are equally effective whether given intraperitoneally or orally. Amino sugars are effective, but their N-acetyl derivatives, lacking the positive charge, are not. Basic polypeptides are also effective, and their potency increases with increasing molecular weight (i.e., the amount of positive charges per molecule). Urine analysis of treated individuals shows the excretion of unmetabolized, intact fragments or peptides, in contrast to mostly low-molecular-weight metabolites in untreated controls. In therapy studies using radiometal-conjugated Fab fragments, the kidney is the first dose-limiting organ. Administration of cationic amino acids results in a substantial increase in the maximum tolerated dose of such Fab fragments. No biochemical or histological evidence of renal damage has been observed under these conditions. As was the case in animal studies, in pilot clinical trials the renal uptake in patients injected with Fab′ fragments and given amino acids could be decreased significantly, whereas the uptake by all other organs remained unaffected. These recent studies indicate that a variety of basic compounds are capable of inhibiting the tubular reabsorption of peptides and proteins, thus significantly lowering the renal uptake of antibody fragments or peptides in both animals and patients. On a molecular basis, the effect seems to rely essentially on the presence of a positively charged amino group. Thus, radiation nephrotoxicity of antibody fragments and peptides can be overcome successfully; this may provide new prospects for cancer therapy with radiolabeled antibody fragments and peptides.
    European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 01/1998; 25(2):201-212. · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The outstanding sensitivity of pentagastrin in detecting the presence of primary, recurrent or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) suggests widespread expression of the corresponding receptor type in human MTC. Indeed, recent autoradiographic studies have demonstrated the presence of cholecystokinin (CCK)-B (= gastrin) receptors not only in more than 90% of MTCs but also in a high percentage of small cell lung cancers, stromal ovarian cancers, astrocytomas and several other tumour types. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether radiolabelled gastrin may be suitable for targeting CCK-B receptor-expressing tumours in vivo. For this purpose, the biodistribution of the radioiodinated human heptadecapeptide gastrin-I was studied in nude mice bearing subcutaneous xenografts of the human MTC cell line, TT. Initial therapy experiments were undertaken. Finally, the biodistribution of iodine-131- labelled gastrin-I was studied in a patient with metastatic MTC. At a peptide amount of approximately 1μg, maximum tumour uptake (8.9±2.9%ID/g) was observed in animals at 1h post injection, with tumour-to-blood ratios as high as 6.3±1.9. Physiological CCK-B receptors in the stomach, gallbladder and pancreas of the mice were targeted as well. The major route of excretion was renal, but strong evidence for a biliary excretion pathway also exists. Pilot therapy studies with 131I-labelled gastrin showed significant anti-tumour efficacy as compared with untreated controls. In accordance with the preclinical data, good receptor targeting was observed in the tumour sites, stomach, gallbladder and pancreas of a patient with metastatic MTC. These data suggest that gastrin and its analogues may represent a useful new class of receptor binding peptides for diagnosis and therapy of a variety of tumour types, including MTC and small cell lung cancer. Future preclinical and clinical studies will address in more detail the molecular features that render CCK-B receptor binding agents potentially useful candidates for in vivo scintigraphy and radionuclide therapy.
    European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 01/1998; 25(4):424-430. · 5.11 Impact Factor
  • Klinische Padiatrie - KLIN PADIAT. 01/1998; 210(05):373-378.
  • International Journal of Cancer - INT J CANCER. 01/1998; 76(5):738-748.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Elevated renal uptake and extended retention of radiolabeled antibody fragments and peptides is a problem in the therapeutic application of such agents. However, cationic amino acids have been shown to reduce renal accretion. The aims of the current study were to evaluate whether this methodology would benefit therapy with yttrium 90 (90Y)-labeled antibody fragments (Fab, F(ab)2), to establish the relationship between radiation dosimetry and observed biologic effects, and to compare the antitumor efficacy of antibody fragments with that of whole immunoglobulin (Ig)G.METHODS The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the dose-limiting organ toxicity of 90Y-labeled anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) MN-14 monoclonal antibodies (Fab, F(ab)2, and IgG) were determined in nude mice bearing GW-39 human colon carcinoma xenografts. The mice were treated with or without kidney protection by administration of D-lysine, with or without bone marrow transplantation (BMT), or with combinations of each. Toxicity and tumor growth were monitored at weekly intervals after radioimmunotherapy. Dosimetry was calculated from biodistribution studies using 88Y-labeled antibody. Three different dosimetric models were examined: 1) taking solely self-to-self doses into account, using S factors for 90Y in spheroids from 0.1 to 1 g; 2) correcting for cross-organ radiation; and 3) using actual mouse anatomy as represented by nuclear magnetic resonance imaging with a three-dimensional internal dosimetry package (3D-ID).RESULTSThe kidney was the first dose-limiting organ with the use of Fab fragments. Acute radiation nephritis occurred at injected activities ≥325 μCi, and chronic nephrosis at doses ≥250 μCi. Activities of 200 μCi were tolerated by 100% of the animals (i.e., the MTD). Application of lysine decreased the renal dose by approximately fivefold, facilitating a 25% increase in the MTD (to 250 μCi), because myelotoxicity became dose-limiting despite red marrow doses of less than 5 gray (Gy). By using BMT and lysine, the MTD could be doubled from 200 to 400 μCi, where no biochemical or histologic evidence of renal damage was observed (kidney dose, ≤40 Gy). With injected activities of ≥325 μCi without kidney protection, and with a hepatic self-to-self dose of only 4 Gy, rising liver enzymes were observed, which could be explained only by cross-organ radiation from radioactivity in the kidneys (in the immediate neighborhood of the right kidney up to ≥150 Gy). The MTD of F(ab)2 fragments could be elevated only by a combination of BMT and lysine. With IgG, the bone marrow alone was dose-limiting. Tumor dosimetry correlated well with antitumor effects; Fab was more effective than F(ab)2, which was consistent with its more favorable dosimetry, and it may also be more effective than IgG due to its higher dose rate and more homogenous distribution. Dosimetry Model 1 was insufficient for predicting biologic effects. Model 2 seemed to be more accurate, accounting for interorgan crossfire. However, Model 3 showed an additional substantial contribution to the red bone marrow dose due to crossfire from the abdominal organs.CONCLUSIONS These data show that radiation nephrotoxicity is an important effect of cancer therapy with radiometal-conjugated antibody fragments or peptides. However, this effect can be overcome successfully with the application of cationic amino acids, which substantially increase the anti-tumor efficacy of radiometal-labeled immunoconjugates. For understanding the biologic effects (e.g., liver toxicity) of 90Y in a mouse model, accounting for cross-organ radiation is essential. Further studies with radiometal-conjugated monoclonal antibody fragments and peptides are necessary to determine the MTD, dose-limiting organs, antitumor effectiveness, and nephroprotective effects of cationic amino acids in humans. Cancer 1997; 80:2591-610. © 1997 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 12/1997; 80(S12):2591 - 2610. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated renal uptake and extended retention of radiolabeled antibody fragments and peptides is a problem in the therapeutic application of such agents. However, cationic amino acids have been shown to reduce renal accretion. The aims of the current study were to evaluate whether this methodology would benefit therapy with yttrium 90 (90Y)-labeled antibody fragments (Fab, F(ab)2), to establish the relationship between radiation dosimetry and observed biologic effects, and to compare the antitumor efficacy of antibody fragments with that of whole immunoglobulin (Ig)G. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the dose-limiting organ toxicity of 90Y-labeled anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) MN-14 monoclonal antibodies (Fab, F(ab)2, and IgG) were determined in nude mice bearing GW-39 human colon carcinoma xenografts. The mice were treated with or without kidney protection by administration of D-lysine, with or without bone marrow transplantation (BMT), or with combinations of each. Toxicity and tumor growth were monitored at weekly intervals after radioimmunotherapy. Dosimetry was calculated from biodistribution studies using 88Y-labeled antibody. Three different dosimetric models were examined: 1) taking solely self-to-self doses into account, using S factors for 90Y in spheroids from 0.1 to 1 g; 2) correcting for cross-organ radiation; and 3) using actual mouse anatomy as represented by nuclear magnetic resonance imaging with a three-dimensional internal dosimetry package (3D-ID). The kidney was the first dose-limiting organ with the use of Fab fragments. Acute radiation nephritis occurred at injected activities > or = 325 microCi, and chronic nephrosis at doses > or = 250 microCi. Activities of 200 microCi were tolerated by 100% of the animals (i.e., the MTD). Application of lysine decreased the renal dose by approximately fivefold, facilitating a 25% increase in the MTD (to 250 microCi), because myelotoxicity became dose-limiting despite red marrow doses of less than 5 gray (Gy). By using BMT and lysine, the MTD could be doubled from 200 to 400 microCi, where no biochemical or histologic evidence of renal damage was observed (kidney dose, < or = 40 Gy). With injected activities of > or = 325 microCi without kidney protection, and with a hepatic self-to-self dose of only 4 Gy, rising liver enzymes were observed, which could be explained only by cross-organ radiation from radioactivity in the kidneys (in the immediate neighborhood of the right kidney up to > or = 150 Gy). The MTD of F(ab)2 fragments could be elevated only by a combination of BMT and lysine. With IgG, the bone marrow alone was dose-limiting. Tumor dosimetry correlated well with antitumor effects; Fab was more effective than F(ab)2, which was consistent with its more favorable dosimetry, and it may also be more effective than IgG due to its higher dose rate and more homogenous distribution. Dosimetry Model 1 was insufficient for predicting biologic effects. Model 2 seemed to be more accurate, accounting for interorgan crossfire. However, Model 3 showed an additional substantial contribution to the red bone marrow dose due to crossfire from the abdominal organs. These data show that radiation nephrotoxicity is an important effect of cancer therapy with radiometal-conjugated antibody fragments or peptides. However, this effect can be overcome successfully with the application of cationic amino acids, which substantially increase the anti-tumor efficacy of radiometal-labeled immunoconjugates. For understanding the biologic effects (e.g., liver toxicity) of 90Y in a mouse model, accounting for cross-organ radiation is essential. Further studies with radiometal-conjugated monoclonal antibody fragments and peptides are necessary to determine the MTD, dose-limiting organs, antitumor effectiveness, and nephroprotective effects of cationic amino acids in humans.
    Cancer 12/1997; 80(12 Suppl):2591-610. · 5.20 Impact Factor
  • T M Behr, D M Goldenberg, W S Becker
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    ABSTRACT: Radioimmunotherapy in lymphoma is crossing the threshold to become a standard mode of treatment. Whereas in solid tumors in preclinical studies, radioimmunotherapy has proven to be superior to conventional chemotherapy, clinical success is still limited. The purpose of this brief review is to analyze recent developments in preclinical as well as clinical radioimmunotherapy of solid, CEA-expressing tumors. Advances in experimental radioimmunotherapy are characterized by the development of metastatic, rather than subcutaneous, tumor models in nude mice, which seem to reflect the actual clinical situation much more accurately. Furthermore, the recent development of strategies to reduce the renal accretion of antibody fragments and peptides enables the use of such smaller molecules for therapy, especially those also labeled with radiometals and other forms of intracellularly retained radionuclides. Recent developments in clinical radioimmunotherapy are characterized by a trend toward the treatment of small-volume and micrometastatic disease, as is the case, e.g., in adjuvant settings. Interestingly, despite dramatic differences in size, weight and percent-of-injected-dose-per-gram uptake values, only small differences between animal models and the actual patient situation exist with respect to activity concentrations (in microCi/gram) in the tumors and tissues. Because the activity concentration over time determines the radiation absorbed dose, and thus biological effects, we postulate that animal models should be able to predict actual clinical scenarios fairly well. These findings could be used as guidelines in the design of future preclinical, as well as clinical, trials.
    Hybridoma 03/1997; 16(1):101-7.
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    ABSTRACT: A number of radioimmunotherapy (RAIT) trials with iodinated antibodies have shown a high variability in the radiation doses to the thyroid. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate which factors influence these thyroid doses during RAIT with 131iodinated monoclonal anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) antibodies. Data from 36 patients with CEA-expressing tumours were analysed. The patients underwent RAIT with the 131I-labelled IgG1 anti-CEA antibody, MN-14 (Ka = 10(9) l mol-1) or its F(ab')2 fragment (activity range 45.8-220.0 mCi). The thyroid was blocked with 120 mg iodine (lugol's orSSKI solution) and 400 mg perchlorate per day, starting 1 day prior to the first study. Blood clearance and molecular composition of labelled plasma compounds were determined by blood sampling and size-exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. The cumulated activities of tissues were determined from daily imaging and blood clearance data. Doses were derived from the MIRD scheme. Thyroid radiation doses showed a high variability, between 1.2 and 37.7 cGy mCi-1 (mean +/- S.D.: 11.1 +/- 8.3 cGy mCi-1), corresponding to absolute doses between 2.5 and 43.6 Gy. However, the maximal iodine uptake in the thyroid was 2.4 +/- 1.9 microCi mCi-1 (range 0.2-10.0 microCi mCi-1), which was less than 1% of the injected activity, indicating that more than 99% of the thyroid was blocked in all cases. No correlation was found between these thyroid doses and conditions leading to an enhanced exposure to free radioiodine, such as unbound I- in the mAb preparation, rapid metabolic breakdown of the labelled antibody due to human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMA), or immune complex formation with circulating antigen. However, a relationship between the thyroid doses and the patients' compliance in taking their Lugol's and perchlorate blocking medications, as well as to a relatively high variability in the biological half-life of the iodine in the thyroid (range from 31.1 h to virtual infinity), is indicated. No rising TSH titres or other signs of (latent) hypothyroidism were seen in these patients during a 2 year follow-up period. Longer follow-up was not possible because of the terminal condition of most of the patients. These data show that thyroid doses in an appropriately blocked individual given a standard, non-myeloablative dose of RAIT, are generally lower than those assumed to be required to cause late hypothyroidism. Even if higher activities are used, potential hypothyroidism may be overcome easily by hormone replacement. Thyroid doses are independent of parameters leading to an enhanced exposure of the thyroid to free radioiodine, suggesting that patient compliance in taking their blocking medication may be the most crucial factor for reducing thyroid doses in RAIT with 131I-labelled antibodies.
    Nuclear Medicine Communications 10/1996; 17(9):767-80. · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The renal uptake of radiolabeled antibody fragments and peptides presents a problem in radioimmunodetection and therapy, compromising lesion sensitivity, especially with intracellularly-retained isotopes. Previously, we showed that cationic amino acids and their derivatives are capable of significantly reducing kidney uptake in animals. We report our initial clinical results of successful renal uptake reduction in five patients who underwent cancer radioimmunodetection with 99mTc-anti-CEA Fab' fragments. The patients were infused with two liters of a commercially-available nutritive amino acid solution (containing approximately 2.25 g/liter lysine-glutamate and 2.50 g/liter arginine), whereas 75 control patients received the same volume of saline (quantification of organ and tumor kinetics from conjugate whole-body views by ROI technique). The renal uptake in the amino acid group was significantly lower (p<0.05) than in the control group (11.1 +/- 2.0% injected dose versus 17.7 +/- 7.0% injected dose at 24 hr postinjection), whereas the uptake of all other organs remained unaffected. Gel filtration chromatography of the urine taken from amino-acid-treated patients showed that a significantly higher amount of excreted activity was bound to intact Fab' (53% of excreted activity) in contrast to only less than 10% in the control group. The renal uptake of monoclonal antibody fragments in patients can be reduced significantly by amino acid infusion, even at considerably lower doses than those that were safe and effective in animals. As was found in animals, the mechanism seems to rely on an inhibition of the re-absorption of tubularly-filtered proteins by the proximal tubule cells. These results encourage further clinical trials to lower the renal uptake experienced in radioimmunodetection, as well as in therapeutic trials with antibody fragments and peptides.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 05/1996; 37(5):829-33. · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The value of 67Ga citrate scanning as a transferrin receptor agent was compared in this study with a 99mTc-labeled anti-CD22 (B-cell) Fab' fragment (LL2) in patients with low- and high-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Thirteen patients with histologically confirmed NHL were examined prospectively with both radiopharmaceuticals within 8 days. The results of immunoscintigraphy were compared with those of 67Ga scanning and the clinical and radiological workup (computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging) of the patients. The overall sensitivity of 67Ga citrate and 99mTc-labeled LL2 fragment was each 80% in a total of 43 lesions. Low-grade lymphoma patients had a higher sensitivity in LL2 imaging (82% versus 71%), and high-grade lymphoma patients in 67Ga citrate scanning (100% versus 75%). The target:background ratio in low-grade NHL for LL2 was 1.43 +/- 0.3:1 versus 1.8 +/- 0.5:1 in 67Ga scans; in high-grade NHL, 1.49 +/- 0.35:1 versus 2.2 +/- 0.8:1, respectively. Single-photon emission computed tomography imaging was necessary in 21.7% of the patients 4 h after injection to localize the lesions. In conclusion, the overall sensitivity of 99mTc-labeled LL2 is comparable to 67Ga citrate scanning in patients with B-cell NHL. 99mTc-labeled LL2 antibodies are rapid to use, are safe, and need a shorter imaging time (24 h versus 72 h). Because of these advantages, 99mTc-labeled LL2 may be superior to 67Ga scanning for the staging of lymphoma patients.
    Cancer Research 01/1996; 55(23 Suppl):5771s-5773s. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to intraindividually compare a complete versus a fragmented, directly 99mTc-labeled, monoclonal anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) antibody, with respect to their antigen-targeting kinetics, sensitivity, and diagnostic accuracy in patients with CEA-expressing tumors. Twenty-five patients were investigated with the 99mTc-labeled anti-CEA IgG1 BW 431/26 and the F(ab')2/Fab' fragment mixture F023C5 within 7 days. For quantitative analysis, the region of interest technique was applied to planar scans, whole-body scans, and single photon emission computed tomography slices 10 min to 48 h postinjection (PI). Final correlations were performed according to the histopathology after surgery or biopsy. Earliest tumor detection was possible with complete IgG1 4 h PI (52% of finally positive lesions). Twenty-four- or even 48-h scans were necessary in 48% of finally positive lesions; tumor detection with fragments was possible in 17% at 1 h PI and in 94% at 4 h PI. With both monoclonal antibodies, in 35%, single photon emission computed tomography was necessary for tumor detection. Absolute antibody uptake in tumor lesions was higher with complete monoclonal antibodies than with fragments. The sensitivity of fragments was higher in detecting primary tumors, local recurrences, and lymph node metastases. For detection of liver metastases, sensitivity was also higher for fragments than for IgG (87 versus 73%), but in scintigraphically positive lesions, tumor:background ratios were significantly lower with fragments (1.26 +/- 0.12 versus 1.70 +/- 0.32; P < 0.01). Therefore, fragments seem to be more suitable for earlier detection of lesions known for their good vascularization, vascular permeability, and antigen accessibility, such as local recurrences, lymph node metastases, and peritoneal carcinomatoses. In liver metastases (high interstitial pressure, low vascular leakage), sensitivity of fragments is higher, but their rapid serum and whole-body clearance lead to a lower absolute antibody uptake, with the consequence of significantly lower tumor:background ratios than with IgG.
    Cancer Research 12/1995; 55(23 Suppl):5786s-5793s. · 8.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

625 Citations
100.85 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2005
    • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
      Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 1997–2002
    • Universitätsmedizin Göttingen
      • Division of Nuclear Medicine
      Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 1992–1995
    • Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
      • Department of Nuclear Medicine
      Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany