NY-ESO-1-specific CD4(+) T cells are of interest for immune therapy against tumors, because it has been shown that their transfer into a patient with melanoma resulted in tumor regression. Therefore, we investigated how NY-ESO-1 is processed onto MHC class II molecules for direct CD4(+) T cell recognition of melanoma cells. We could rule out proteasome and autophagy-dependent endogenous Ag processing for MHC class II presentation. In contrast, intercellular Ag transfer, followed by classical MHC class II Ag processing via endocytosis, sensitized neighboring melanoma cells for CD4(+) T cell recognition. However, macroautophagy targeting of NY-ESO-1 enhanced MHC class II presentation. Therefore, both elevated NY-ESO-1 release and macroautophagy targeting could improve melanoma cell recognition by CD4(+) T cells and should be explored during immunotherapy of melanoma.