We evaluated tumor cell growth modulation by bee venom secretory phospholipase A2 (bv-sPLA2) and phosphatidylinositol-(3,4)-bisphosphate as well as potential cooperative effects. In addition, the immunomodulatory impact of tumor cell treatment was examined by monitoring changes in phenotype and function of monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs) cocultured with pretreated tumor cells. Bv-sPLA2 or phosphatidylinositol-(3,4)-bisphosphate alone displayed moderate effects on the proliferation of A498 renal cell carcinoma cells, T-47D breast cancer cells, DU145 prostate cancer cells and BEAS-2B transformed lung cells. However, when bv-sPLA2 was coadministered with phosphatidylinositol-(3,4)-bisphosphate a potent inhibition of [3H] thymidine incorporation into all tested cell lines occurred. This inhibition was due to massive cell lysis that reduced the number of cells with proliferative capacity. Importantly, tumor cell lysates generated with bv-sPLA2 plus phosphatidylinositol-(3,4)-bisphosphate induced maturation of human moDCs demonstrated by enhanced expression of CD83 and improved stimulation in allogeneic mixed leukocyte reactions. Our data demonstrate that bv-sPLA2 and phosphatidylinositol-(3,4)-bisphosphate synergistically generate tumor lysates which enhance the maturation of immunostimulatory human monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Such tumor lysates which represent complex mixtures of tumor antigens and simultaneously display potent adjuvant properties meet all requirements of a tumor vaccine.