Adoptive transfer (AT) of T cells forced to express tumor-reactive T-cell receptor (TCR) genes is an attractive strategy to direct autologous T-cell immunity against tumor-associated antigens. However, clinical effectiveness has been hampered by limited in vivo persistence. We investigated whether the use of major histocompatibility complex-mismatched T cells would prolong the in vivo persistence of tumor-reactive TCR gene expressing T cells by continuous antigen-driven proliferation via the endogenous potentially alloreactive receptor. Donorderived CD8+ T cells engineered to express a TCR against a leukemia-associated antigen mediated strong graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects with reduced graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) severity when given early after transplantation. AT later after transplantation resulted in a complete loss of GVL. Loss of function was associated with reduced expansion of TCR-transduced T cells as assessed by CDR3 spectratyping analysis and PD-1 up-regulation on T cells in leukemia-bearing recipients. PD-L1 blockade in allogeneic transplant recipients largely restored the GVL efficacy without triggering GVHD, whereas no significant antileukemia effects of PD-L1 blockade were observed in syngeneic controls. These data suggest a clinical approach in which the AT of gene-modified allogeneic T cells early after transplantation can provide a potent GVL effect without GVHD, whereas later AT is effective only with concurrent PD-L1 blockade.