Alpha particles are energetic short-range ions whose higher linear energy transfer produces extreme cytotoxicity. An alpha-particle-emitting radioimmunoconjugate consisting of a bismuth-212-labeled monoclonal immunoglobulin M specific for the murine T cell/neuroectodermal surface antigen Thy 1.2 was prepared. Analysis in vitro showed that the radioimmunoconjugate was selectively cytotoxic to a Thy 1.2+ EL-4 murine tumor cell line. Approximately three bismuth-212-labeled immunoconjugates per target cell reduced the uptake of [3H]thymidine by the EL-4 target cells to background levels. Mice inoculated intraperitoneally with EL-4 cells were cured of their ascites after intraperitoneal injection of 150 microcuries of the antigen-specific radioimmunoconjugate, suggesting a possible role for such conjugates in intracavitary cancer therapy.

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