Relationships among various forms of delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) and nonspecific resistance to Lewis lung tumor were studied in syngeneic and semisyngeneic mice. Only the tuberculin type of DTH obviated a virulent inoculum of 10(6) tumor cells. The Jones-Mote type of DTH, even modified by cyclophosphamide pretreatment, produced a significant local inflammatory reaction which was unable to destroy tumor cells. The antitumor effect of the tuberculin type was observed in BCG-or in Corynbacterium parvum-immune mice and also in sheep red blood cell-immunized mice, but only after the modulating effect of BCG. The antitumor activity of the DTH reaction was anatomically restricted and time related, and it required local persistence of specific antigen. A minimal number of bacteria, 1 times 10(6) living or heat-killed BCG organisms, were equally able to eradicate 10(5) tumor cells in BCG-immune mice. Biphasic effects on tumor growth were observed when systemic specific inflammatory reactions were elicited in BCG-immune mice. However, tumor-specific immunity was never observed, inasmuch as BCG-immune mice surviving injection of a mixture of BCG and tumor cells did not resist a second tumor cell challenge.