Dendritic cells (DC) begin maturation in response to complex stimuli consisting of antigens and pattern molecules (PAMP) for the activation of the immune system. Immune adjuvant usually contains PAMP. Infection represents one event that is capable of inducing such a complex set of stimuli. Recently, DC were subdivided into a number of subsets with distinct cell-surface markers, with each subset displaying unique differential maturation in response to pattern molecules to induce various types of effector cells. In the present study, we review how pattern recognition molecules and adaptors in each DC subset drive immune effector cells and their effect in the stimulated DC. Although tumor cells harbor tumor-associated antigens, they usually lack PAMP. Hence, we outline the properties of exogenously-added PAMP in the modulation of raising tumor immunity. In addition, we describe the mechanism by which DC-dependent natural killer activation is triggered for the induction of antitumor immunity.