Tumors that express tumor-specific antigens can maintain growth in an immunocompetent organism. Current hypotheses tend toward T cell anergy as a key component for the inhibition of immunoreactivity against such tumors. Anergy is thought to occur from hyperactive stimulation of the TCR in the absence of costimulation (costimulation leads to proliferation via IL 2 production). Subcutaneous injection of transgenic polyoma middle T transformed breast adenocarcinoma tumor cells (PyMT) in the hind flank of FVB/n mice results in the formation of tumor nodules at this site. We determined the MHC class I and class II, B7-1, and B7-2 expression in the tumor cells by flow cytometry and showed positive staining for only MHC class I. We show that a single E1-deleted adenovirus constructed to express both the costimulatory molecule B7-1 (murine) and human IL-2 genes (Ad5E1 mB7-1/human IL-2) elicits a very potent antitumor response when administered intratumorally. Ad5E1 mB7-1/human IL-2 induced rapid and complete regression (100%) of all tumors compared with Ad5 E1 mB7-1 (38%), Ad CAIL-2 (42%), and Ad5E1 dl70-3 (control vector) (0%). All mice that exhibited complete tumor regression were fully protected in tumor cell challenge experiments. The systemic immunity generated by intratumoral administration of the Ad vectors was associated with a strong anti-PyMT CTL response. These observations indicate that augmenting the immunogenicity of the tumor with coincident expression of B7-1 in combination with IL-2 may prove beneficial in direct tumor immunotherapy.