Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has been reported to induce antitumor activity in peripheral blood monocytes. We examined the role of GM-CSF on bone marrow (BM) macrophages in inducing antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) against murine and human tumor cells in vitro and in vivo with the aim of applying this approach in an autologous bone marrow transplantation (BMT) setting. GM- CSF induced a potent ADCC in BM macrophages against a murine melanoma in vitro. Treatment with GM-CSF alone or with antibody alone had no effect, whereas therapy with combination of both these agents resulted in a significant reduction in dissemination of melanoma both in a nontransplant as well as in BMT settings, with results being more optimal in the latter setting. Adoptive transfer of BM macrophages harvested from mice undergoing therapy with GM-CSF plus antibody significantly reduced the dissemination of melanoma in secondary recipients but only after irradiation, not in intact mice. GM-CSF also induced significant ADCC in human BM macrophages against a melanoma and a lymphoma in vitro and against a lymphoma implanted in nude mice in vivo. Again, these effects were more optimal after chemotherapy. These data suggest that treatment with GM-CSF plus tumor-specific monoclonal antibodies after BMT may induce an antitumor effect and help eradicate the minimal residual disease.