The cure of micrometastases following surgery is the major goal of cancer immunotherapy. We have recently isolated tumour-associated antigen (TAA) peptides, MUT 1 and MUT 2, derived from a mutated connexin 37 gap-junction protein, from the malignant 3LL-D122 murine lung carcinoma. We now report that synthetic MUT 1 or MUT 2 induces effective antitumour cytoxic T lymphocytes. Peptide vaccines protect mice from spontaneous metastases of 3LL-D122 tumours. Moreover, peptide vaccines reduce metastatic loads in mice carrying pre-established micrometastases. Tumour-specific immunity was primarily mediated by CD8+ T cells. This is the first evidence that peptide therapy may be effective in treatment of residual tumours and provides a rationale for the development of peptide vaccines as a modality for cancer therapy.