Combinations of anticancer drugs, referred to as "combinatorial" chemotherapy, is often used in the treatment of cancer patients. Recent advances in our understanding of cell cycle and cellular stress responses may be viewed in the context of responses to anticancer drugs. A desired outcome is cell death preferentially occurring in cancer cells. We report that cyclin E, an oncogene that is deregulated in breast and other human cancers, can sensitize cancer cells to cisplatin/taxol combinations. The drug combination may selectively induce apoptosis in cyclin E-overexpressing cells.