In a previous study, it was reported that secondary untreated melanoma tumors implanted several weeks after and at distance from primary chloroethylnitrosourea (CENU)-treated tumors underwent differentiation and growth inhibition. To see whether the primary treated tumor released soluble factors that mediated the secondary tumor response, serum transfer experiments were performed in vivo. Administration of serum from CENU-treated tumor-bearing donors arrested tumor proliferation, decreased vessel formation and induced tumor metabolite alterations encompassing glutathione decrease and polyunsaturated fatty acid and phosphoethanolamine increase. These changes mimicked secondary tumor phenotype. To reproduce the model in vitro, cell culture supernatant transfer experiments were performed. CENU-treated cell cultures showed polyploidy and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Cell cultures challenged by a conditioned medium of CENU-treated cells underwent growth inhibition, cytoskeleton disorders, cytokinesis retardation, metabolite alterations, glutathione decrease and phosphoethanolamine increase, without ROS elicitation. Proteomics of CENU-treated cell conditioned media revealed altered protein secretion activity by CENU-treated cells. Among de novo secreted proteins, the most expressed were phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein (PEBP), cardiovascular heat shock protein (cHsp), Rho-associated coiled-coil forming kinase 2 (ROCK) and actin fragments. These proteins testified of cytoskeleton disorders, growth inhibition and metabolite alterations. This article demonstrates the release by CENU-treated tumors of growth inhibitory differentiation-inducing soluble factors. These factors mediate remote bystander effects and attest persistent biological activity of residual tumors after chemotherapy. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.