Tumors thrive in an immunosuppressive microenvironment that impedes antitumor innate and adaptive immune responses. Thus, approaches that can overcome immunosuppression and engage antitumor immunity are needed. This study defines the adjuvant and cancer immunotherapy potential of the recombinant poliovirus/rhinovirus chimera PVSRIPO. PVSRIPO is currently in clinical trials against recurrent World Health Organization grade IV malignant glioma, a notoriously treatment-refractory cancer. Cytopathogenic infection of neoplastic cells releases the proteome and exposes pathogen- and damage-associated molecular patterns. At the same time, sublethal infection of antigen-presenting cells, such as dendritic cells and macrophages, yields potent, sustained type I interferon-dominant activation in an immunosuppressed microenvironment and promotes the development of tumor antigen–specific T cell responses in vitro and antitumor immunity in vivo. PVSRIPO’s immune adjuvancy stimulates canonical innate anti-pathogen inflammatory responses within the tumor microenvironment that culminate in dendritic cell and T cell infiltration. Our findings provide mechanistic evidence that PVSRIPO functions as a potent intratumor immune adjuvant that generates tumor antigen–specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses.