DC initiate and regulate T-cell immunity and are thus the key to optimization of all types of vaccines. Insights into DC biology offer many opportunities to enhance immunogenicity. In this Viewpoint, I discuss some recent developments and findings that are of immediate relevance for the clinical development of cancer vaccines. In addition, I emphasize my personal view that we should explore the potential of adoptively transferred DC (i.e. DC vaccination) as cancer vaccines by performing two-armed trials that address critical variables and by delivering antigens via mRNA-transfected DC.