Although many tumors express tumor-specific antigens, most fail to stimulate effective immune responses. Tumors generally lack co-stimulatory molecules, which can lead to tolerance of tumor-specific T cells and progressive tumor growth. Here, we demonstrate that the ovalbumin (OVA) transfected EL4 tumor, E.G7-OVA, grows progressively in syngeneic mice even though the tumor can be rejected if the mice are immunized with OVA in adjuvant. E.G7-OVA grew more rapidly in RAG-1 deficient than sufficient mice suggesting that normal mice make an abortive immune response to this tumor. Depletion of γδ T cells or IL-10 augmented the ability of B6 mice to reject E.G7-OVA. Spleen cells from normal, but not IL-10 knockout, mice reconstituted rapid tumor growth in γδ T cell-deficient mice. Thus, γδ T cells play an important role in preventing immune elimination of this tumor by a mechanism that directly or indirectly involves IL-10. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.