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Abstract

After subcutaneous injection, monoclonal antibodies directed against a tumor can enter local lymphatic vessels, pass to the draining lymph nodes, and bind to metastases there. Lymphatic delivery of antibody to early metastases is more efficient than intravenous administration, and the lymphatic route can be used to image smaller metastatic deposits. Perhaps more important, the lymphatic route minimizes binding of antibodies to circulating tumor antigens and to cross-reactive antigens present on normal tissues. Antibodies inappropriate for intravenous use because of binding to normal tissues may therefore be useful against lymph node metastases when injected subcutaneously or directly into lymphatic vessels.

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