Dendritic cells (DCs) have shown great potential as a component or target in the landscape of cancer immunotherapy. Different in vivo and ex vivo strategies of DC vaccine generation with different outcomes have been proposed. Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated their efficacy and safety in cancer patients. However, there is no consensus regarding which DC-based vaccine generation method is preferable. A problem of result comparison between trials in which different DC-loading or -targeting approaches have been applied remains. The employment of different DC generation and maturation methods, antigens and administration routes from trial to trial also limits the objective comparison of DC vaccines. In the present review, we discuss different methods of DC vaccine generation. We conclude that standardized trial designs, treatment settings and outcome assessment criteria will help to determine which DC vaccine generation approach should be applied in certain cancer cases. This will result in a reduction in alternatives in the selection of preferable DC-based vaccine tactics in patient. Moreover, it has become clear that the application of a DC vaccine alone is not sufficient and combination immunotherapy with recent advances, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, should be employed to achieve a better clinical response and outcome.