Advances in gene modification and viral therapy have led to the development of a variety of vectors in several viral families that are capable of replication specifically in tumor cells. Because of the nature of viral delivery, infection, and replication, this technology, oncolytic virotherapy, may prove valuable for treating cancer patients, especially those with inoperable tumors. Current limitations exist, however, for oncolytic virotherapy. They include the body's B and T cell responses, innate inflammatory reactions, host range, safety risks involved in using modified viruses as treatments, and the requirement that most currently available oncolytic viruses require local administration. Another important constraint is that genetically enhanced vectors may or may not adhere to their replication restrictions in long-term applications. Several solutions and strategies already exist, however, to minimize or circumvent many of these limitations, supporting viral oncolytic therapy as a viable option and powerful tool in the fight against cancer. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.