Development of therapeutic cancer vaccines has been hindered by the many pro-tumorigenic mechanisms at play in cancer patients that serve to suppress both antigen presenting cells and T cells. In face of these obstacles, cancer vaccines are most likely to promote anti-tumorigenic immune responses only when formulated with strong adjuvants, and in combination with new immune interventions designed to reverse immune suppression and exhaustion of T cells in the tumor microenvironment. Dendritic cells (DCs) are often termed ‘nature's adjuvant’ due to their exceptional capacity for initiating both innate and adaptive immune responses. Hence, the past decade has witnessed a flurry of activity in testing DC based immunotherapies for cancer intervention. In this review we will discuss advances in conventional adjuvants and provide insight into new adjuvants as they pertain to DC cancer therapy.