ONYX-015 is an adenovirus with the E1B 55-kDa gene deleted, engineered to selectively replicate in and lyse p53-deficient cancer cells while sparing normal cells. Although ONYX-015 and chemotherapy have demonstrated anti-tumoral activity in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer, disease recurs rapidly with either therapy alone. We undertook a phase II trial of a combination of intratumoral ONYX-015 injection with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil in patients with recurrent squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. There were substantial objective responses, including a high proportion of complete responses. By 6 months, none of the responding tumors had progressed, whereas all non-injected tumors treated with chemotherapy alone had progressed. The toxic effects that occurred were acceptable. Tumor biopsies obtained after treatment showed tumor-selective viral replication and necrosis induction.