During metastasis, tumor cells adhere to vascular endothelia. E-selectin is an adhesive protein expressed by cytokine-activated endothelium that can support adhesion of colon cancer cells through the recognition of specific carbohydrate ligands. Using a series of colon carcinoma cell lines that displayed E-selectin adhesiveness and an increased metastatic capacity in cytokine-treated mice, we examined possible inhibition of cytokine-dependent experimental lung metastasis by a soluble form of E-selectin, the recombinant fusion protein E-selectin-immunoglobulin. We found that E-selectin-immunoglobulin bound to the surfaces of HT-29 colon carcinoma cells and blocked the formation of cytokine-inducible experimental lung metastases; control L-selectin-immunoglobulin also bound to HT-29 cells but had no effect on tumor cell lung colonization. E-selectin-immunoglobulin was found to interfere with E-selectin-dependent adhesion of HT-29 cells to activated vascular endothelium and to block the retention of these cells in the lung, a process that implies tumor cell adhesive interactions with the host vasculature. Our results demonstrate that E-selectin-immunoglobulin inhibits adhesion and formation of lung metastases by colon carcinoma cells and suggest that impairment of tumor cell-endothelium adhesion might represent a therapeutic approach to the metastatic diffusion of tumors.