The adenovirus E1a gene has been shown to be associated with high sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents and a decrease in the tumorigenicity of some human malignant cell lines. We have analyzed the tumorigenicity of the murine epidermoid carcinoma cell lines MSC11A5 and HaCa4, which have constitutive E1a expression, after the concomitant injection of retrovirus E1a producer cells with the carcinoma cells and even after the intratumoral injection of the E1a producer cells. The level of E1a expression was studied by Western blotting. Tumors induced by carcinoma cell lines expressing E1a showed greater latencies and less tumorigenicity. In the spindle cell carcinomas MSC11A5, E1a gene expression partially blocked tumorigenicity. Similar results were obtained after the concomitant injection of the carcinoma cells and the retrovirus E1a producer cells. Intratumoral injection of retrovirus E1a producer cells was associated with a significant delay of tumorigenicity. By transfection with different E1a mutants Ntd1598, d1922/947, and d1787N, we observed that only the mutant that has complete CR2 domains is associated with the decrease in tumorigenicity. According to these results, we conclude that, at least in these carcinoma cell lines, E1a expression exerts a significant antitumor effect in vivo that is mediated by the CR2 region of E1a gene. We propose that injection of retrovirus E1a producer cells may be a novel therapeutic approach in cancer.