A prospective randomized trial on 312 patients with locally advanced cervical carcinoma (FIGO stages IB-IV) was carried out. The 5-year survival in 90 patients treated with radiotherapy and antitumor polysaccharide sizofiran, an extract from the culture broth of Schizophyllum commune Fries, in combination was significantly (P = 0.045) better than that in 82 patients treated with radiotherapy alone. Treatment with sizofiran and 5-fluorouracil in combination improved (P = 0.003) the 5-year survival in 60 patients treated with radiotherapy. In 244 cervical carcinoma patients, the percentage of activated CD8+ (CD8+HLA-DR+) T cells in the CD8+ T-cell subsets in peripheral lymphocytes increased significantly as the disease progressed. A similar tendency was observed in the percentage of activated CD4+ (CD4+HLA-DR+) T cells in the CD4+ T-cell subsets. These immunologic parameters were significantly increased by radiotherapy, but not by surgery. Sizofiran accelerated a recovery in the activated CD8+ T cells in the CD8+ T-cell subsets compared with that of sizofiran nontreated patients after radiotherapy. Our data show that possible immune impairment in cervical carcinoma may be caused by disturbances in cell-mediated immunity, and that sizofiran is an effective immunotherapeutic agent for cervical carcinoma because it stimulates a rapid recovery of the immunologic parameters impaired by radiotherapy.