Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) against human lung cancer cells are difficult to induce by a conventional method using tumor cell stimulation probably due to an insufficiency of tumor antigens (TA) or costimulatory molecules such as CD80. We, therefore, investigated the potential of CD80-transfected tumor cells as stimulators of the in vitro induction of autologous tumor-specific CTL from regional lymph node lymphocytes in patients with lung cancer. Five non-small cell lung cancer cell lines (two adenocarcinomas, 1 squamous cell carcinoma, 1 large cell carcinoma and 1 adenosquamous cell carcinoma) were established from surgical specimens and were successfully transduced with a plasmid constructed with expression vector pBj and human CD80 cDNA, using a lipofection method. CD80-transfected tumor cells (CD80-AT) significantly augmented the proliferation of autologous lymphocytes from all cases as compared with non-transfected tumor cells (AT). AT-stimulated lymphocytes from 4 out of 5 cases did not show any cytotoxicity against AT; however, lymphocytes stimulated with CD80-AT exhibited substantial cytotoxicity against parental AT in all 5 cases tested. AT-stimulated lymphocytes derived from only one out of 5 cases showed major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-class I-restricted cytokine production in response to AT, while the MHC-class I-restricted responses were found in CD80-AT-stimulated lymphocytes from 4 out of 5 cases. These results indicate that CD80 on tumor cells could be a beneficial costimulatory molecule to elicit CTL against lung cancer, and also show that TA recognized by CTL was frequently expressed on lung cancer cells.