Tumour cells engineered to express co-stimulatory molecules on their surface provide researchers with powerful new tools to manipulate antitumour responses. It has been demonstrated that B7-1+ and B7-2+ tumour cells can elicit effective responses against their wild-type counterparts. This response is primarily mediated by CD8+ cytolytic T-lymphocytes. The co-stimulatory ability of B7-2+ tumour cells is comparable to that of B7-1+ tumour cells, though with some exceptions. However, on host antigen-presenting cells (APC), B7-2 plays a dominant role in inducing T-cell-mediated immune responses. Up-regulation of B7-2 on host APC may, therefore, present an effective means of generating potent antitumour immunity.