Certain strains of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) have been shown to be oncolytic in a wide variety of solid tumors. In the present study, we tested the leukemolytic properties of VSV using established leukemia cell lines and primary patient material. VSV efficiently killed essentially all leukemic cell lines. In contrast, however, normal clonogenic bone marrow progenitor cells and peripheral blood cells were remarkably refractory to infection by VSV. By exploiting this large difference in susceptibility to infection we successfully purged contaminating leukemic cells from cultures of peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) using VSV. VSV was also able to infect and kill leukemic cells in primary samples taken from patients with multiple myeloma (MM). This study demonstrates the potential utility of VSV in the treatment, both ex vivo and in vivo, of hematologic malignancies.