Viral infections lead to alarmin release and elicit potent cytotoxic effector T lymphocyte (CTLeff) responses. Conversely, the induction of protective tumour-specific CTLeff and their recruitment into the tumour remain challenging tasks. Here we show that lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) can be engineered to serve as a replication competent, stably-attenuated immunotherapy vector (artLCMV). artLCMV delivers tumour-associated antigens to dendritic cells for efficient CTL priming. Unlike replication-deficient vectors, artLCMV targets also lymphoid tissue stroma cells expressing the alarmin interleukin-33. By triggering interleukin-33 signals, artLCMV elicits CTLeff responses of higher magnitude and functionality than those induced by replication-deficient vectors. Superior anti-tumour efficacy of artLCMV immunotherapy depends on interleukin-33 signalling, and a massive CTLeff influx triggers an inflammatory conversion of the tumour microenvironment. Our observations suggest that replicating viral delivery systems can release alarmins for improved anti-tumour efficacy. These mechanistic insights may outweigh safety concerns around replicating viral vectors in cancer immunotherapy.