Open Access Open Badges Research article

Randomised Phase I/II trial assessing the safety and efficacy of radiolabelled anti-carcinoembryonic antigen I131 KAb201 antibodies given intra-arterially or intravenously in patients with unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Asma Sultana1, Susannah Shore1, Michael GT Raraty1, Sobhan Vinjamuri2, Jonathan E Evans3, Catrin Tudur Smith14, Steven Lane4, Seema Chauhan1, Lorraine Bosonnet1, Conall Garvey3, Robert Sutton1, John P Neoptolemos1 and Paula Ghaneh1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Surgery and Oncology, University of Liverpool, 5th Floor-UCD Building, Daulby Street, Liverpool L69 3GA, UK

2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool L7 8XP, UK

3 Department of Radiology, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool L7 8XP, UK

4 Centre for Medical Statistics and Health Evaluation, University of Liverpool, Shelley's Cottage, Brownlow Street, Liverpool, L69 3GS, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2009, 9:66  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-66

Published: 25 February 2009



Advanced pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis, and the current standard of care (gemcitabine based chemotherapy) provides a small survival advantage. However the drawback is the accompanying systemic toxicity, which targeted treatments may overcome. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of KAb201, an anti-carcinoembryonic antigen monoclonal antibody, labelled with I131 in pancreatic cancer (ISRCTN 16857581).


Patients with histological/cytological proven inoperable adenocarcinoma of the head of pancreas were randomised to receive KAb 201 via either the intra-arterial or intravenous delivery route. The dose limiting toxicities within each group were determined. Patients were assessed for safety and efficacy and followed up until death.


Between February 2003 and July 2005, 25 patients were enrolled. Nineteen patients were randomised, 9 to the intravenous and 10 to the intra-arterial arms. In the intra-arterial arm, dose limiting toxicity was seen in 2/6 (33%) patients at 50 mCi whereas in the intravenous arm, dose limiting toxicity was noted in 1/6 patients at 50 mCi, but did not occur at 75 mCi (0/3).

The overall response rate was 6% (1/18). Median overall survival was 5.2 months (95% confidence interval = 3.3 to 9 months), with no significant difference between the intravenous and intra-arterial arms (log rank test p = 0.79). One patient was still alive at the time of this analysis.


Dose limiting toxicity for KAb201 with I131 by the intra-arterial route was 50 mCi, while dose limiting toxicity was not reached in the intravenous arm.