Lymphoproliferative disorders, including follicular lymphoma (FL), multiple myeloma (MM) and chronic lymphatic leukaemia (CLL), are slowly progressive malignancies which remain incurable despite advances in therapy. Harnessing the immune system to recognise and destroy tumours is a promising new approach to treating these diseases. Dendritic cells (DC) are unique antigen-presenting cells that play a central role in the initiation and direction of immune responses. DC loaded ex vivo with tumour-associated antigens and administered as a vaccine have already shown promise in early clinical trials for a number of lymphoproliferative disorders, but the need for improvement is widely agreed. Recent advances in the understanding of basic DC biology and lessons from early clinical trials have provided exciting new insights into the generation of anti-tumour immune responses and the design of vaccine strategies. In this review we provide an overview of our current understanding of DC biology and their function in patients with lymphoproliferative disorders. We discuss the current status of clinical trials and new approaches to exploit the antigen presenting capacity of DC to design vaccines of the future.