Targeted bone marrow irradiation in the conditioning of high-risk leukaemia prior to stem cell transplantation

S N Reske, D Bunjes, I Buchmann, U Seitz, G Glatting, B Neumaier, J Kotzerke, A Buck, H Martin, H Döhner, L Bergmann


Disease recurrence following stem cell transplantation (SCT) remains a major problem. Despite the sensitivity of leukaemias to chemotherapy and irradiation, conventional conditioning before SCT is limited by significant organ toxicity. Targeted irradiation of bone marrow and spleen by radioimmunotherapy may provide considerable dose escalation, with limited toxicity to non-target organs. In this study, 27 patients with high-risk or relapsing leukaemia were treated with rhenium-188-labelled CD66a,b,c,e radioimmunoconjugates (188Re-mAb) specific for normal bone marrow in addition to conventional conditioning with high-dose chemotherapy and 12 Gy total body irradiation prior to SCT. A mean activity of 10.2+/-2.1 (range 6.9-15.8) GBq 188Re-mAb was administered intravenously. Acute side-effects were assessed according to the CTC classification and patient outcome was determined. Mean radiation doses (Gy; range in parentheses) to relevant organs and whole body were as follows: 13.1 (6.5-22) to bone marrow, 11.6 (1.7-31.1) to spleen, 5.0 (2.0-11.7) to liver, 7.0 (2.3-11.6) to kidneys, 0.7 (0.3-1.3) to lungs and 1.4 (0.8-2.1) to the whole body. Stem cells engrafted in all patients within 9-18 days post SCT. Acute organ toxicity of grade II or less was observed. During follow-up for 25.4+/-5.3 (range 18-34) months, 4/27 (15%) patients died from relapse, and 9/27 (33%) from transplantation-related complications. Fourteen patients (52%) are still alive and in ongoing complete clinical remission. Radioimmunotherapy with the bone marrow-seeking 188Re-labelled CD66 mAb can double the dose to bone marrow and spleen without undue extramedullary acute organ toxicity, when given in addition to high-dose chemotherapy and 12 Gy TBI before allogeneic SCT. This intensified conditioning regimen may reduce the relapse rate of high-risk leukaemia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)807-15
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 07.2001


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