The methylcholantrene-induced P815 mastocytoma tumor is derived from DBA/2 mice and expresses a weak tumor rejection antigen, P815A. The P1A gene, which encodes for the P815A antigen, is silent in most normal tissues with the exception of testis and placenta. These characteristics make P815 an interesting mouse model for the human MAGE-type tumor antigens. Recombinant Semliki Forest virus particles (rSFV) were constructed that expressed variants of the P815 antigen. Such particles, when used for vaccination, express the antigen only transiently since the viral vector is incapable of productive replication. Nevertheless, mice vaccinated with rSFV generated strong CTL responses and were protected against P815 tumor challenge.