The immune response of 56 colorectal cancer patients to a single infusion of 1 mg of radiolabeled (111In) mouse B72.3-GYK-DTPA immunoconjugate was examined using a double-antigen radiometric assay system. The incidence of antibody response was 48% to polyclonal mouse IgG, 71% to mouse B72.3, and 62% to chimeric B72.3. Twelve patients (23%) had an antibody response to B72.3 V region in the absence of binding to polyclonal mouse IgG. An antiidiotype response was demonstrated in sera from 36% of 25 patients examined and correlated well with chimeric B72.3-GYK-DTPA immunoconjugate binding (r=0.72), moderately well with mouse B72.3 binding (r=0.56), and not at all with polyclonal mouse IgG binding (r=0.28). The peak antibody response occurred most frequently 2 weeks postinfusion, although a "delayed" peak response to chimeric B72.2 occurred in 29% of patients. This study suggests that mouse B72.3 causes an immune response in the majority of patients and that antibody response to the V region is common. Understanding the physiological significance of these antibody responses will require correlation with the kinetics and tumor localization of repeat infusions of such immunoconjugates. © 1992 Plenum Publishing Corporation.