DNA vaccination has suddenly become a favoured strategy for inducing immunity. The molecular precision offered by gene-based vaccines, together with the facility to include additional genes to direct and amplify immunity, has always been attractive. However, the apparent failure to translate operational success in preclinical models to the clinic, for reasons that are now rather obvious, reduced initial enthusiasm. Recently, novel delivery systems, especially electroporation, have overcome this translational block. Here, we assess the development, current performance and potential of DNA vaccines for the treatment of cancer.