Dendritic cell (DC) based vaccine has emerged as a promising immunotherapy for cancers. However, most DC vaccines so far have only achieved limited success in cancer treatment. Photodynamic therapy (PDT), an established cancer treatment strategy, can cause immunogenic apoptosis to induce an effective antitumor immune response. In this study, we developed a DC-based cancer vaccine using immunogenic apoptotic tumor cells induced by 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) mediated PDT. The maturation of DCs induced by PDT-treated apoptotic cells was evaluated. The anti-tumor immunity of ALA-PDT-DC vaccine was tested with mouse model. We observed the maturations of DCs potentiated by ALA-PDT treated tumor cells, including phenotypic maturation (upregulation of surface expression of MHC-II, DC80, and CD86), and functional maturation (enhanced capability to secret INF-Υ and IL-12). ALA-PDT-DC vaccine mediated by apoptotic cells provided protection against tumor in mice, far stronger than that of DC vaccine obtained from freeze/thaw treated tumor cells. Our results indicate that immunogenic apoptotic tumor cells can be more effective in enhancing DC-based cancer vaccine, which could improve the clinical application of PDT- DC vaccines.