Although dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in tumor immunity, there have been no reports on their role in cholangiocellular carcinoma (CCC). In 26 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections from patients with CCC, cells positive for CD83 (a marker of mature DCs), CD1a (a marker of immature DCs), and CD8 and CD4 (T cell markers) were counted, and expression of glucose-regulated protein (grp) 94, which is considered to participate in the maturation of DCs, was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis to study the relationship between their expression and patients' disease outcome. The number of CD83-positive DCs at the invasive margin of CCCs correlated significantly with the number of CD8-positive or CD4-positive T cells in the cancerous region and was significantly higher in grp94-positive cancer than in grp94-negative cancer (P = 0.0006). CD83-positive patients (positive cells in invasive margin > 12.4/field) had both a significantly lower incidence of lymph node metastasis (23.1% vs 69.2%; P = 0.0206) and a better outcome than CD83-negative patients (P <0.001). We conclude that mature DCs are distributed predominantly at the invasive margin of cancers, and a significantly higher number of mature DCs at the invasive margin are observed in patients with grp94-positive cancer cells. Mature DCs may enhance CD8- and CD4-positive cell infiltration into cancers and improve prognosis in patients with CCC, due in part to abatement of lymph node metastasis.