Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAPs) exhibit promising anticancer activities. In the present study, we have examined the in vivo antitumoral effects of a 9-mer peptide, LTX-302, which is derived from the CAP bovine lactoferricin (LfcinB). A20 B cell lymphomas of BALB/c origin were established by subcutaneous inoculation in syngeneic mice. Intratumoral LTX-302 injection resulted in tumor necrosis and infiltration of inflammatory cells followed by complete regression of the tumors in the majority of the animals. This effect was T cell dependent, since the intervention was inefficient in nude mice. Successfully treated mice were protected against rechallenge with A20 cells, but not against Meth A sarcoma cells. Tumor resistance could be adoptively transferred with spleen cells from LTX-302-treated mice. Resistance was abrogated by depletion of T lymphocytes, or either the CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cell subsets. Taken together, these data suggest that LTX-302 treatment induced long-term, specific cellular immunity against the A20 lymphoma and that both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were required. Thus, intratumoral administration of lytic peptide might, in addition to providing local tumor control, confer a novel strategy for therapeutic vaccination against cancer.