Using a mouse model in which tumors show a growth-regression-recurrence pattern, we investigated the mechanisms for down-regulation of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-mediated tumor immunosurveillance. We found that interleukin 4 receptor (IL-4R) knockout and downstream signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) knockout, but not IL-4 knockout, mice resisted tumor recurrence, which implicated IL-13, the only other cytokine that uses the IL-4R-STAT6 pathway. We confirmed this by IL-13 inhibitor (sIL-13R alpha 2-Fc) treatment. Loss of natural killer T cells (NKT cells) in CD1 knockout mice resulted in decreased IL-13 production and resistance to recurrence. Thus, NKT cells and IL-13, possibly produced by NKT cells and signaling through the IL-4R-STAT6 pathway, are necessary for down-regulation of tumor immunosurveillance. IL-13 inhibitors may prove to be a useful tool in cancer immunotherapy.