Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a rapidly developing cancer treatment that utilizes the combination of nontoxic dyes and harmless visible light to destroy tumors by generating reactive oxygen species. PDT produces tumor-cell destruction in the context of acute inflammation that acts as a 'danger signal' to the innate immune system. Activation of the innate immune system increases the priming of tumor-specific T lymphocytes that have the ability to recognize and destroy distant tumor cells and, in addition, lead to the development of an immune memory that can combat recurrence of the cancer at a later point in time. PDT may be also successfully combined with immunomodulating strategies that are capable of overcoming or bypassing the escape mechanisms employed by the progressing tumor to evade immune attack. This article will cover the role of the immune response in PDT anti-tumor effectiveness. It will highlight the milestones in the development of PDT-mediated anti-tumor immunity and emphasize the combination strategies that may improve this therapy.