The topic is how to achieve long-term protective anti-tumor immunity by anti-cancer vaccination and what are its mechanisms. Cancer vaccines should instruct the immune system regarding relevant cancer targets and contain signals for innate immunity activation. Of central importance is T-cell mediated immunity and thus a detailed understanding of cognate interactions between tumor antigen (TA)-specific T cells and TA-presenting dendritic cells. Microbes and their associated molecular patterns initiate early inflammatory defense reactions that can contribute to the activation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and to costimulation of T cells. The concommitant stimulation of naive TA-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with TAs and costimulatory signals occurs in T-APC clusters that generate effectors, such as cytotoxic T lymphocytes and T cell mediated immunological memory. Information about how such memory can be maintained over long times is updated. The role that the bone marrow with its specialized niches plays for the survival of memory T cells is emphasized. Examples are presented that demonstrate long-term protective anti-tumor immunity can be achieved by post-operative vaccination with autologous cancer vaccines that are modified by virus infection.