The combination of COL-1 (anti-CEA) and CC49 (anti-TAG-72) has shown an increase in binding and distribution in colon cancer by immunoperoxidase staining compared to either antibody alone. To overcome tumor heterogeneity and allow delivery of higher radiation dose, 131I-labeled COL-1 and CC49 at a total dose of 75 mCi/m2 (2775 MBq/m2) were simultaneously administered to 14 patients with metastatic colon cancer. alpha-IFN (3 x 10(6) IU) was given s.c. on days -5 to +3 to increase carcinoembryonic antigen and TAG-72 antigen expression. Most patients had mild symptoms during IFN therapy, including mild neutropenia, fever, and malaise, which rapidly subsided after IFN cessation. No acute allergic reactions occurred with radioimmunotherapy; two patients experienced transient, delayed grade 2 arthralgias. Transient neutropenia and/or thrombocytopenia, which was maximal at 4-6 weeks, were consistent side effects without adverse events. All patients had tumor localization, and 13 of 14 patients achieved 4+ (highest grade) localization readings to at least one known site of disease. No objective responses occurred; 4 patients were stable and 10 progressed. Tumor dose estimates varied from 393 to 1327 cGy, including liver and extrahepatic sites. Combining two complementary antibodies and IFN administration appeared to increase localization intensity and radiation doses at tumor sites as compared to historical controls. The amount of radiation delivered to tumor sites was still below that required to cause tumor regressions in metastatic colorectal cancer.