Genetically engineered herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) can selectively infect and replicate in cancer cells, and are candidates for use as oncolytic therapy. This long-term report of a phase I trial examines vascular administration of HSV as therapy for cancer. Twelve subjects with metastatic colorectal cancer within the liver failing first-line chemotherapy were treated in four cohorts with a single dose (3 × 106 to 1 × 108 particles) of NV1020, a multimutated, replication-competent HSV. After hepatic arterial administration, subjects were observed for 4 weeks before starting intra-arterial chemotherapy. All patients exhibited progression of disease before HSV injection. During observation, levels of the tumor marker carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) decreased (median % drop = 24%; range 13-74%; P < 0.02). One of three individuals at the 108 level showed a 39% radiologic decrease in tumor size by cross-section and 75% by volume. HSV infection was documented from liver tumor biopsies. After beginning regional chemotherapy, all patients demonstrated a further decrease in CEA (median 96%; range 50-98%; P < 0.008) and a radiologic partial response. Median survival for this group was 25 months. During follow-up, no signs of virus reactivation were found. Multimutated HSV can be delivered safely into the human bloodstream to produce selective infection of tumor tissues and biologic effects.