Sixteen patients with metastatic stage IV melanoma were treated with use of intravenous infusions of dendritic cells (DC) derived by incubation of plastic-adherent peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with IL-4 and GM-CSF for 8 days in serumless AIM-V medium, followed by overnight pulsing with peptides. The tyrosinase368-376 (370D) and gp100(209-217 (210M)) peptides restricted to HLA class I A*0201 each differed from wild type by one amino acid modified to increase HLA binding. Median age was 49, with nine men and seven women. All patients, except one, had visceral disease. Patients received escalating doses of peptide-pulsed DCs at 10e7, 3 x 10e7, and 10e8 cells/dose twice at 2 weeks apart, with toxicity and clinical and immune responses as the principal endpoints. The first infusion of DCs was fresh, and frozen DCs were given for the second infusion of each cycle. Mean DC purity by flow cytometry was 49%, with a mean HLA-DR level of 57%, CD86 of 41%, CD58 of 46%, and mean CD14 cells of 0.9%. Toxicity was minimal, with two patients having transient grade III DC-related toxicity. Ten patients received one cycle of treatment and six patients received two cycles of treatment. One patient had a complete remission (CR) of lung and pleural disease after two cycles of DC therapy. Two additional patients had stable disease and two patients had mixed responses. Overall immunity was assessed by recall skin testing with peptides, gamma interferon ELISA assays of peptide specific cytolytic T cell (CTL) stimulated twice with peptide, IL-2, and IL-7 over 24 days, and peptide-specific tetramer assays performed before and after vaccination. Five of 16 patients had an immune response to gp100 or tyrosinase by gamma interferon ELISA assay; four of five were clinically stable or had tumor regression. These data suggest that melanoma antigen peptide-pulsed DC given intravenously are not toxic, and regression or stability of tumor appeared to correlate with the detection of a peptide-specific immune response in the peripheral blood.