The biodistribution of the radiolabelled monoclonal antibodies MOv18, OV185 and OV197 in nude mice with subcutaneous tumours of the human ovarian cancer cell line OVCAR3 was investigated. The early uptake of MOv18 (1-24 h) and the uptake in relation to tumour size were also studied. The antibodies were labelled with 125I according to the Iodogen method or the m-MeATE method, the latter also being suitable for labelling with 211Astatine. The tumour/blood ratio and the localization index for Mov 18 72 h after antibody injection were 2.21 +/- 0.25 and 4.62 +/- 1.27, respectively. This is significantly higher than for the other two specific antibodies. The early tumour uptake of MOv18 was low with a tumour/blood ratio of 0.23 +/- 0.04 after 6 h, and the uptake was higher in small tumours. The two labelling methods were found to be equivalent. We conclude that MOv18 labelled according the m-MeATE method should be suitable for further therapeutic studies with 211Astatine in nude mice.