Patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) undergoing cytokine or targeted therapies may show a remarkable decline in quality of life (QoL). We wanted to evaluate QoL in patients with metastatic RCC undergoing therapeutic vaccination with dendritic cells (DCs). In a cross-sectional analysis, QoL was therefore assessed in RCC patients participating in three consecutive clinical trials of DC vaccination. Before the first and after the third vaccination with DCs, patients completed a QoL questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30, version 3). Data were transformed into scale scores and analysed using SPSS 12.0 software. Mean values of the resulting scores obtained before and after DC vaccination were compared using students t test and Wilcoxon rank-sum test. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The questionnaire was completed by 55 of 71 patients (compliance rate, 77.5%) who had a median age of 58.7 years (from 30 to 75 years). No significant reductions in functioning scales including physical, emotional and social criteria as well as symptom scores, which assess typical symptoms of tumour therapies, were observed indicating that QoL remained high during DC vaccination. Significant correlations were found between overall survival and functional as well as symptom scores. Our data indicate that DC vaccination, which is a personalised treatment modality, maintains QoL and thus represents an attractive nontoxic treatment option for patients with metastatic RCC. It will be important to identify the most effective conditions of DC vaccination including combinations with other therapeutics to maximise clinical efficacy while still preserving QoL.