We previously have generated a single-chain T cell receptor-cytokine fusion protein (264scTCR/IL-2) comprising interleukin-2 genetically linked to a soluble HLA-A2.1-restricted TCR recognizing a peptide of human p53 protein. In this report, we show that 264scTCR/IL-2 inhibits the growth of primary tumors derived from the A375 (p53+/HLA-A2.1+) human melanoma and exhibits significantly better antitumor activity than recombinant human IL-2 alone. Moreover, treatment with 264scTCR/IL-2 results in tumor growth retardation in mice bearing large A375 tumors and other p53+/HLA-A2.1+ human tumors but does not affect tumor outgrowth of HLA-A2.1-negative tumors. This suggests that antigen targeting plays a substantial role in the efficacy of 264scTCR/IL-2 against p53+/HLA-A2+ tumors. Further, the antitumor activity of 264scTCR/IL-2 was found to be likely mediated by NK cell activation and tumor infiltration. A biologically active chimeric version of the molecule (c264scTCR/IL-2) also exhibits favorable pharmacokinetic properties required of a clinical candidate for this novel class of potent antitumor activities and targeted anticancer immunotherapeutics.