Several methods for quantification of docetaxel have been described mainly using HPLC. We have developed a new isocratic HPLC method that is as sensitive and simpler than previous methods, and applicable to use in clinical pharmacokinetic analysis. Plasma samples are spiked with paclitaxel as internal standard and extracted manually on activated cyanopropyl end-capped solid-phase extraction columns followed by isocratic reversed-phase HPLC and UV detection at 227 nm. Using this system, the retention times for docetaxel and paclitaxel are 8.5 min and 10.5 min, respectively, with good resolution and without any interference from endogenous plasma constituents or docetaxel metabolites at these retention times. The total run time needed is only 13 min. The lower limit of quantification is 5 ng/ml using 1 ml of plasma. The validated quantitation range of the method is 5-1000 ng/ml with RSDs < or = 10%, but plasma concentrations up to 5000 ng/ml can be accurately measured using smaller aliquots. This method is also suitable for the determination of docetaxel in urine samples under the same conditions. The method has been used to assess the pharmacokinetics of docetaxel during a phase I/II study of docetaxel in combination with epirubicin and cyclophosphamide in patients with advanced cancer.