Cancer vaccines that use tumor lysate (TL) as a source of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) have significant potential for generating therapeutic anti-tumor immune responses. Vaccines encompassing TL bypass the limitations of single antigen vaccines by simultaneously stimulating immunity against multiple TAAs, thereby broadening the repertoire of TAA-specific T-cell clones available for activation. Administration of TL in particulate form, such as when encapsulated in biodegradable microparticles, increases its immunostimulatory capacity and produces more robust immune responses than when TL is given in soluble form. These effects can be further enhanced by co-administering TL with adjuvants. A number of recent studies using polymeric microparticle delivery of TL, with or without adjuvants, have produced promising results in preclinical studies. In this review, we will discuss current experimental approaches involving TL being pursued in the oncoimmunology field, and comment on strategies such as combining specific chemotherapeutic agents with TL microparticle delivery that may eventually lead to improved survival outcomes for cancer patients. © Informa UK, Ltd.