Replication-competent, attenuated herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors have been developed for viral oncolytic therapy of primary and metastatic malignant brain tumors. However, the role of the host immune responses in the brain has not been elucidated. N18 neuroblastoma cells were used as a tumor model in syngeneic A/J mice to test the therapeutic efficacy of G207, a conditionally replicating HSV vector, in an immunocompetent condition. G207 inoculated intraneoplastically exhibited a prominent oncolytic antitumor effect in mice harboring N18 tumors in the brain or subcutaneously, and, in addition, elicited a systemic antitumor immune response. Subcutaneous tumor therapy with G207 caused regression of a remote, established tumor in the brain or in the periphery, which was potentially mediated by the systemic antitumor immune response, and provided persistent tumor-specific protection against N18 tumor rechallenge in the brain as well as in the periphery. Antitumor immunity was associated with an elevation of specific CTL activity against N18 tumor cells that persisted for at least 13 months. The results suggest that the oncolytic antitumor action of replication-competent HSV may be augmented by induction of specific and systemic antitumor immunity effective both in the periphery and in the brain.