Radioiodine therapy, the most effective form of systemic radiotherapy available, is currently useful only for thyroid cancer because of thyroid-specific expression of the sodium iodide symporter (NIS). Here we explore the efficacy of a novel form of gene therapy using adenovirus-mediated in vivo NIS gene transfer followed by (131)I administration for treatment of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer xenografts in nude mice injected with an adenovirus carrying the NIS gene linked to the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter revealed highly active uptake of radioiodine. Following administration of 3 mCi of (131)I, we observed an average tumor volume reduction of 84 +/- 12%. These results show for the first time that in vivo NIS gene delivery into non-thyroidal tumors is capable of inducing accumulation of therapeutically effective radioiodine doses and might therefore represent an effective and potentially curative therapy for prostate cancer.