To facilitate the immunologic monitoring of a peptide vaccine trial, a novel, empty dimeric HLA-A2 molecule (A2 dimer) that could be loaded with peptides was produced. The dimer comprises the extracellular domain of HLA-A2 noncovalently linked to a fusion protein consisting of human β2-microglobulin joined to the human IgG1 Fc domain. Peptide-loaded dimer complexes were used to assess the function of peptide-specific T cells. HLA-A2 gp100 peptide dimers stimulated interferon (IFN)-γ production by the gp100-specific TIL-1520 cell line. Gp100/A2 dimer stimulation in combination with intracellular cytokine staining was used to analyze peptide-specific T-cell responses in patients with melanoma after vaccination with the modified gp100: 209-2M peptide in adjuvant. Titration analysis of the amount of peptide-loaded dimer required to stimulate gp100-specific T cells was used to estimate the functional avidity of effector/memory CD8+ T lymphocytes. The number of peptide-specific T cells detected in the peripheral blood of vaccinated patients using this assay was comparable to the number determined by staining with fluoresceinated gp100: 209-2M HLA-A2 tetramers. IFN-γ production by T cells was comparable after stimulation with peptide-pulsed dimers, T2 cells, or autologous dendritic cells. Peptide-loaded A2 dimers could also be used directly to stimulate T cells in the ELISPOT assay.