Malignant glioma is the most common primary brain carcinoma in the world and has a poor survival rate. Previous studies have demonstrated that p53 dysfunction contributes to the development and severity of malignant glioma. It has also been demonstrated that Newcastle disease virus (NDV) may be a viable candidate for the treatment of various types of cancer. In the present study, a p53 oncolytic agent delivered using recombinant NDV (rNDV-p53) was constructed and its anti-tumor effects and were assessed. Glioma cell lines and a xenograft mouse model were utilized to assess the ability of p53 and rNDV to promote apoptosis and induce immunotherapy, respectively. The mechanism of rNDV-p53 in glioma therapy was investigated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. Tumor-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses and lymphocyte infiltration were also analyzed in glioma-bearing models. The results of the present study demonstrate that rNDV-p53 may be a potential therapeutic agent that improves the prognosis of mice with glioma. It was revealed that rNDV-p53 inhibits glioma cell growth and aggressiveness and compared with rNDV and p53 alone. The results also demonstrated that rNDV-p53 induced glioma cell apoptosis by upregulating apoptosis-related genes. In addition, the present study demonstrated that rNDV-p53 significantly stimulated CTL responses and lymphocyte infiltration whilst increasing the number of apoptotic bodies . Furthermore, rNDV-p53 therapy inhibited tumor regression and prolonged the survival of glioma-bearing mice. In conclusion, rNDV-p53 invoked an immune response against glioma cells, which may serve as a comprehensive immunotherapeutic schedule for glioma.