Dendritic cells (DC), the most potent "professional" antigen-presenting cells, hold promise for improving the immunotherapy of cancer. In this study, we investigated the ability of normal donor DC pulsed ex vivo with 12 mer PML-RAR alpha (A) peptide (SGAGEAAIETQS) to generate peptide specific autologous cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. The peptide pulsed DC-primed peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) displayed significantly higher cytotoxic activity compared with that of peptide non-pulsed DC-primed PBL against peptide-pulsed autologous macrophages (P<0.001). Both CD8+ and CD4+ T lymphocytes were involved in the effector cell populations. The PML-RAR alpha peptide-pulsed DC-primed T-cells were significantly superior in their production of GM-CSF and TNF-alpha, compared with peptide non-pulsed DC-primed T-cells. These intriguing preclinical studies, suggest that PML-RAR alpha pulsed-DC could be a promising immunotherapeutic modality for patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia.