Suicide gene therapy using the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (HSV-tk/GCV) system is a well-characterized tool for cancer gene therapy; however, it does not yet exhibit sufficient efficacy to cure patients of malignancies. We have reported that adenovirally delivered monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 augmented the antitumor effects of the HSV-tk/GCV system in an athymic nude mouse model. The current study, which uses an immunocompetent mouse model of colon cancer, was designed to evaluate the antitumor effects of MCP-1 gene delivery in conjunction with this suicide gene therapy system. Subcutaneous tumor foci were directly transduced with both recombinant adenoviruses (rAds) expressing an HSV-tk gene and either of the MCP-1, CD80 and LacZ genes, followed by GCV administration. The growth of tumors was markedly suppressed by codelivery of HSV-tk and MCP-1 genes, which was exclusively associated with the recruitment of monocytes/macrophages, T helper 1 (Th1) cytokine gene expression and cytotoxic activity of the splenocytes. Furthermore, the antitumor effects were more efficient than that obtained by the combination of HSV-tk and CD80 genes. These results suggest an immunomodulatory effect of MCP-1 in the context of suicide gene therapy of colon cancer via orchestration of innate and acquired immune responses.