Newcastle disease virus (NDV), an avian paramyxovirus, has a potential oncolytic effect that may be of significance in the treatment of a variety of cancer diseases. An attenuated lentogenic isolate of NDV (HUJ) demonstrated a selective cytopathic effect upon a panel of human and mouse lung tumor cells, as compared to human nontumorigenic lung cells. The virus-selective oncolytic effect is apoptosis dependent, and related to higher levels of viral transcription, translation and progeny virus formation. Furthermore, NDV-HUJ oncolytic activity is directed in-cis and not through induction of cytokines, that may act in-trans on neighboring cells. Development of primary lung tumors and of the consequent metastasis in mice inoculated with mouse lung tumor cells 3LL-D122 was decreased following treatment with NDV-HUJ. The preferential killing of the tumor cells is not due to a deficiency in the interferon (IFN) system, as expression of the IFN-beta gene, in the infected cells, is properly induced. Moreover, pretreatment with IFN effectively protected the tumor cells from the virus oncolytic effect. We conclude therefore, that NDV-HUJ should have a significant benefit in the treatment of lung cancer as well as other malignancies.