Cancer gene therapy approaches will derive considerable benefit from adenovirus (Ad) vectors capable of self-directed localization to neoplastic disease or immunomodulatory targets in vivo. The ablation of native Ad tropism coupled with active targeting modalities has demonstrated that innate gene delivery efficiency may be retained while circumventing Ad dependence on its primary cellular receptor, the coxsackie and Ad receptor. Herein, we describe advances in Ad targeting that are predicated on a fundamental understanding of vector/cell interplay. Further, we propose strategies by which existing paradigms, such as nanotechnology, may be combined with Ad vectors to form advanced delivery vehicles with multiple functions. © 2006 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.