The growth pattern (progression/regression) of v-src DNA- and Rous sarcoma virus (RSV)-induced tumors was analogous on a panel of inbred chicken lines. The decisive role of the major histocompatibility complex [Mhc(B)] alleles in resistance to the progression of these tumors was formally proved in segregating backcross populations. The immune mechanism of tumor regression was demonstrated by both in vivo and in vitro assays. A protective effect of v-src-specific immunity against RSV challenge was shown in Rous sarcoma regressor, line CB (B12/B12). Immune cells from regressors of v-src DNA-induced tumors can protect syngeneic hosts from the development of tumor after challenge with both v-src DNA and RSV. Suppression of RSV-induced tumor cell growth in vitro was also achieved by the use of cocultivation with spleen cells from chickens in which v-src DNA-induced tumors had regressed. This in vitro sarcoma-specific response was Mhc(B)-restricted. Chickens of the congenic Rous sarcoma progressor line CC (B4/B4) are sometimes able to regress v-src DNA-induced tumors, but immune cells can only slow the growth of v-src DNA-induced tumors in syngeneic hosts. This suggests that the primary reason for the susceptibility of CC chickens is a weak v-src-specific immune response. Furthermore, some of the v-src DNA-induced tumors were transplantable across the Mhc(B) barrier. The growth of tumor allografts was able to be facilitated when immunological tolerance to the B-F/L region antigens (class I and class II) had been established. This demonstrated that a high tumorigenicity of the transplantable tumor was not due to the lack of Mhc(B) antigens on tumor cells.