The Cytokine Working Group (CWG) was initially established in 1986 as the Extramural IL-2/LAK Working Group. With funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the CWG was mandated to confirming data regarding the efficacy of the high-dose interleukin-2 (IL2)/lymphokine-activated killer cell (LAK cell) regimen piloted at the NCI in the treatment of renal cell cancer. Since those initial studies, the CWG has conducted a series of clinical trials, often with correlative immunologic investigations, to evaluate combination immunotherapy in attempts to enhance the efficacy of IL-2 or to reduce toxicity. Subsequently, the CWG conducted trials to demonstrate the activity of lower-dose outpatient combination cytokine regimens to help determine their role in the armamentarium of treatment for metastatic renal cell cancer. This has culminated in a phase III randomized trial comparing the activity of high-dose IL-2 with the activity of outpatient IL-2 plus interferon-alpha. The CWG also has honed the management of both high-dose IL-2 and outpatient IL-2 regimens to make these safer in the hands of experienced clinicians. In addition, the CWG has produced a series of carefully conducted clinical trials of new cytokines, again attempting to define their clinical efficacy as anticancer agents. These include studies of IL-4, IL-6, and IL-12. Currently, the CWG is conducting studies with new approaches to IL-2 therapy, as well as planning trials with new agents for treatment of renal cell cancer. This review describes these efforts conducted over the past 15 yr.