Rat C6 glioma cells express insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and form rapidly growing tumors in syngeneic animals. When transfected with an episome-based vector encoding antisense IGF-I complementary DNA, these cells lost tumorigenicity. Subcutaneous injection of IGF-I antisense-transfected C6 cells into rats prevented formation of both subcutaneous tumors and brain tumors induced by nontransfected C6 cells. The antisense-transfected cells also caused regression of established brain glioblastomas when injected at a point distal to the tumor. These antitumor effects result from a glioma-specific immune response involving CD8+ lymphocytes. Antisense blocking of IGF-I expression may reverse a phenotype that allows C6 glioma cells to evade the immune system.