Interleukin 7 (IL-7) is a 25-kD cytokine that was initially described as a pre-B cell growth factor. This cytokine has also been shown to have T cell proliferative and differentiation effects. In this report, we demonstrate that antitumor cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) generated by secondary in vitro sensitization of draining lymph node cells in IL-7 are effective in treating 3-day syngeneic methylcholanthrene (MCA) sarcoma pulmonary metastases in mice. In vivo titrations comparing IL-7 to IL-2 antitumor CTL show that they have equivalent potency in adoptive immunotherapy. IL-7 antitumor CTL generated against MCA sarcomas of weak immunogeneity are also tumor specific in their in vivo efficacy. This study represents the first successful use of a cytokine other than IL-2 for the generation of cells with in vivo efficacy in cellular adoptive transfer.

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