Costimulatory pathway ligands and receptors can deliver either positive or negative signals to help determine the ultimate fate of activated T lymphocytes. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) represents one of the most extensively studied receptors in the costimulatory pathway and has recently been shown to function as a potent inhibitor of T cell-mediated immunity. T-cell expression of CTLA-4 indirectly facilitates tumor progression by restraining host antitumoral immunity. In contrast, administration of a monoclonal antibody to block CTLA-4 function can alleviate restraints on T-cell activity to promote immune-mediated tumor regression. We review the preclinical and clinical experience with CTLA-4 blockade as a promising immunotherapeutic approach to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer.