Dendritic cells (DC) are central to the initiation of immunity. To induce immune reactivity, DC are recruited at the site of antigen expression, uptake antigens and migrate to secondary lymphoid organs while receiving activation signals delivered by pathogens, dying cells, and/or T cells. Tumours can escape the immune system by interfering with the migration of DC or by not providing the necessary activation signals. Moreover, tumours promote the secretion of factors that inhibit DC differentiation and functions. We will review the current knowledge of the physiopathology of DC in cancer, which paves the way for novel strategies of therapeutic intervention.