Oncolytic herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 gamma(1)34.5-deletion mutants (Deltagamma(1)34.5 HSV) are promising agents for tumor therapy. The attenuating mutation renders the virus aneurovirulent but also limits late viral protein synthesis and efficient replication in many tumors. We tested whether one function of gamma(1)34.5 gene, which mediates late viral protein synthesis through host protein kinase R (PKR) antiviral response evasion, could be restored, without restoring the neurovirulence. We have previously reported the construction of two chimeric Deltagamma(1)34.5 HSV vectors (chimeric HSV), C130 and C134, which express the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) PKR-evasion genes TRS1 and IRS1, respectively. We now demonstrate the following. The HCMV/HSV-1 chimeric viruses (i) maintain late viral protein synthesis in the human malignant glioma cells tested (D54-MG, U87-MG and U251-MG); (ii) replicate to higher titers than Deltagamma(1)34.5 HSV in malignant glioma cells in vitro and in vivo; (iii) are aneurovirulent; and (iv) are superior to other Deltagamma(1)34.5 HSV with both improved reduction of tumor volumes in vivo, and improved survival in two experimental murine brain tumor models. These findings demonstrate that transfer of HCMV IRS1 or TRS1 gene into Deltagamma(1)34.5 HSV significantly improves replication in malignant gliomas without restoring wild-type neurovirulence, resulting in enhanced tumor reduction and prolonged survival.