Dendritic cells are the most potent antigen-presenting cells, and the possibility of their use for cancer vaccination has renewed the interest in this therapeutic modality. Nevertheless, the ideal immunization protocol with these cells has not been described yet. In this paper we describe the preliminary results of a protocol using autologous tumor and allogeneic dendritic hybrid cell vaccination every 6 weeks, for metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients. Thirty-five patients were enrolled between March 2001 and March 2003. Though all patients included presented with large tumor burdens and progressive diseases, 71% of them experienced stability after vaccination, with durations up to 19 months. Among RCC patients 3/22 (14%) presented objective responses. The median time to progression was 4 months for melanoma and 5.7 months for RCC patients; no significant untoward effects were noted. Furthermore, immune function, as evaluated by cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions to recall antigens and by peripheral blood proliferative responses to tumor-specific and nonspecific stimuli, presented a clear tendency to recover in vaccinated patients. These data indicate that dendritic cell-tumor cell hybrid vaccination affects the natural history of advanced cancer and provide support for its study in less advanced patients, who should, more likely, benefit even more from this approach.