Although the concept of using viruses as antineoplastic agents dates back nearly a century, recent advances in the fields of molecular biology, genetics, and virology have enabled investigators to engineer viruses with greater potency and tumor specificity. Further enhancements involve arming these viruses with therapeutic transgenes, and combining the traditional modalities of chemotherapy and radiation therapy with oncolytic viral therapy in hopes of reducing the chance of developing resistant tumor cell clones. Another means of augmenting the antineoplastic effect of these viruses involves modulating the immune response to minimize antiviral immunity, while at the same time maximizing antitumor immunity. A better understanding of mechanisms that viruses use to overcome cellular defenses to achieve robust replication within the cell will lead to development of oncolytic viruses with better tumor specificity and reduced toxicity. Initial clinical studies have shown that oncolytic viral therapy for metastatic disease is safe and well tolerated. In addition, using similar genetic modification strategies, these viruses have demonstrated antineoplastic effects in humans similar to those seen in preclinical animal models.