Imatinib mesylate has been demonstrated to allow the emergence of T cells directed against chronic myeloid leukemia cells. A total of 10 Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients receiving high-dose imatinib mesylate maintenance underwent long-term immunological monitoring (range, 2-65 months) of (p190)BCR-ABL-specific T cells in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. (p190)BCR-ABL-specific T lymphocytes were detected in all patients, more frequently in bone marrow than in peripheral blood samples (67% vs 25%, P < .01) and resulted significantly associated with lower minimal residual disease values (P < .001), whereas absent at leukemia relapse. Specific T cells were mainly effector memory CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells, producing interferon-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-2 (median percentage of positive cells: 3.34, 3.04, and 3.58, respectively). Cytotoxic subsets able to lyse BCR-ABL-positive leukemia blasts also were detectable. Whether these autologous (p190)BCR-ABL-specific T cells may be detectable under other tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, expanded ex vivo, and exploited for immunotherapy remains to be addressed.