The purpose of this study was to test melanoma vaccines consisting of peptides and immunological adjuvants for optimal immunogenicity and to evaluate laboratory immune monitoring for in vivo relevance. Forty-nine HLA-A2 positive patients with Melan-A positive melanoma were repeatedly vaccinated with Melan-A peptide, with or without immune adjuvant AS02B (QS21 and MPL) or IFA. Peptide-specific CD8 T cells in PBLs were analyzed ex vivo using fluorescent HLA-A2/Melan-A multimers and IFN-gamma ELISPOT assays. The vaccines were well tolerated. In vivo expansion of Melan-A-specific CD8 T cells was observed in 13 patients (1/12 after vaccination with peptide in AS02B and 12/17 after vaccination with peptide in IFA). The T cells produced IFN-gamma and downregulated CD45RA and CD28. T-cell responses correlated with inflammatory skin reactions at vaccine injection sites (P < 0.001) and with DTH reaction to Melan-A peptide (P < 0.01). Twenty-six of 32 evaluable patients showed progressive disease, whereas 4 patients had stable disease. The two patients with the strongest Melan-A-specific T-cell responses experienced regression of metastases in skin, lymph nodes, and lung. We conclude that repeated vaccination with Melan-A peptide in IFA frequently leads to sustained responses of specific CD8 T cells that are detectable ex vivo and correlate with inflammatory skin reactions.