Humanizing xenogenic monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) by genetic engineering has greatly improved their therapeutic utility and efficacy. The chimeric CD20 MAb C2B8 (Rituximab) is a prominent representative of this new generation of therapeutic MAbs and has been proposed as a treatment of choice for recurrent follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Treatment of CD20+ B cells with MAb C2B8 triggers several cell-damaging actions including complement-mediated lysis (CDL), antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), and MAb-induced induction of apoptosis. We provide an overview of the most prominent mechanisms underlying the efficacy of antibody treatment. We introduce our concept of cross-priming of cytotoxic T-cell responses promoted by apoptosis incucing antibodies. Treatment of tumor cells with antibodies that are capable of inducing a proapoptotic signal via their cell surface target structure may not only contribute to their direct killing but also may induce cellular responses against the tumor, which may have a long-lasting protective effect. We report, using the example of C2B8 anti-CD20 treatment of lymphoma cells, that MAb C2B8-induced apoptosis of lymphoma cells not only kills these cells but also promotes uptake and cross-presentation of lymphoma cell-derived peptides by antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DC), induces maturation of DC, and allows the generation of specific CTL.