Near infrared (NIR) photoimmunotherapy (PIT) is a new type of molecularly-targeted cancer photo-therapy based on conjugating a near infrared silica-phthalocyanine dye, IR700, to a monoclonal antibody (MAb) targeting cancer-specific cell-surface molecules. When exposed to NIR light, the conjugate induces a highly-selective necrotic/ immunogenic cell death (ICD) only in receptor-positive, MAb-IR700-bound cancer cells. This cell death occurs as early as 1 minute after exposure to NIR light. Meanwhile, immediately adjacent receptor-negative cells including immune cells are unharmed. Therefore, we hypothesized that NIR-PIT could efficiently elicit host immunity against treated cancer cells. Three-dimensional dynamic quantitative phase contrast microscopy and selective plane illumination microscopy of tumor cells undergoing PIT showed rapid swelling in treated cells immediately after light exposure suggesting rapid water influx into cells, followed by irreversible morphologic changes such as bleb formation, and rupture of vesicles. Furthermore, biological markers of ICD including relocation of HSP70/90 and calreticulin, and release of ATP and High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1), were clearly detected immediately after NIR-PIT. When NIR-PIT was performed in a mixture of cancer cells and immature dendritic cells, maturation of immature dendritic cells was strongly induced rapidly after NIR-PIT. In summary, NIR-PIT can induce necrotic/ immunogenic cell death that promotes rapid maturation of immature dendritic cells adjacent to dying cancer cells. Therefore, NIR-PIT could efficiently initiate host immune response against NIR-PIT treated cancer cells growing in patients.