A major goal of tumor immunotherapy is the induction of tumor-specific T cell responses that are effective in eradicating disseminated tumor, as well as mounting a persistent tumor-protective immunity. We demonstrate here that a genetically engineered fusion protein consisting of human/mouse chimeric anti-ganglioside GD2 antibody and human interleukin-2 is able to induce eradication of established B78-D14 melanoma metastases in immunocompetent syngeneic C57BL/6J mice. This therapeutic effect is mediated by host immune cells, particularly CD8+ T cells and is associated with the induction of a long-lived immunity preventing tumor growth in the majority of animals when challenged up to four months later with B78-D14 cells. This effect was tumor-specific, since no cross-protection against syngeneic, ganglioside GD2+ EL-4 thymoma cells was observed. Furthermore, this tumor-specific protection can be transmitted horizontally to naive, syngeneic SCID mice by passive transfer of CD8+ T lymphocytes derived from immune animals. These results suggest that antibody-targeted delivery of cytokines provides a means to elicit effective immune responses against established tumors in the immunotherapy of neoplastic disease.