We evaluated anti-tumor activity and toxic effect of an adenoviral vector expressing the GFP/TRAIL fusion gene from the hTERT promoter (designated Ad/gTRAIL) on human breast cancer cell lines and on normal human breast cells. Treatment with Ad/gTRAIL elicited high levels of transgene expression and apoptosis in a variety of breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, treatment with Ad/gTRAIL was effective in killing breast cancer lines resistant to doxorubicin or soluble TRAIL protein. In contrast, only minimal transgene expression and toxicity was detected in normal human primary mammary epithelial cells after treatment with this vector. An in vivo study further showed that the intralesional administration of Ad/gTRAIL effectively suppressed the growth of human tumor xenografts derived from both doxorubicin-sensitive and doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer lines. Specifically, about 50% of animals bearing doxorubicin-sensitive and doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer xenografts showed complete tumor regression and remained tumor-free for over 5 months. These results suggest that the adenovirus encoding the GFP/TRAIL gene driven by the hTERT promoter has potential application in cancer therapy.