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The use of tumour-associated antigens for cancer immunotherapy studies is exacerbated by tolerance to these self-antigens. Tolerance may be broken by using ex vivo monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with self-antigens. Targeting tumour-associated antigens directly to DCs in vivo is an alternative and simpler strategy. The identification of cell surface receptors on DCs, and targeting antigens to DC receptors, has become a popular approach for inducing effective immune responses against cancer antigens. Many years ago, we demonstrated that targeting the mannose receptor on macrophages using the carbohydrate mannan to DCs led to appropriate immune responses and tumour protection in animal models. We conducted Phase I, I/II and II, clinical trials demonstrating the effectiveness of oxidised mannan-MUC1 in patients with adenocarcinomas. Here we summarise DC targeting approaches and their efficacy in human clinical trials.