A new rapid and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic method for analysis of docetaxel (Taxotere) in human plasma was developed and validated. After adding an internal standard (paclitaxel, Taxol), plasma was extracted following a simple liquid-liquid extraction with diethyl ether. Extraction efficiency averaged 95% for docetaxel. Separation was performed using a Nucleosil (C18) 5 microm column, monitored at 227 nm. The isocratic mobile phase consisted of acetonitrile-acetate buffer, pH 5-tetrahydrofuran (45:50:5, v/v) pumped at a flow-rate of 1.8 ml/min. The limit of quantification for docetaxel in plasma was 12.5 ng/ml. Retention times for docetaxel and paclitaxel were 7.7 and 9 min, respectively. Standard curves were linear over a range of 25-1,000 ng/ml. This new method is rapid since it does not require time-consuming extraction procedures, or complex chromatographic conditions. This rapidity, along with the lack of chromatographic interferences with various other drugs likely to be administered to the cancer patients (pain killers, corticoids, antiemetics drugs) make this method suitable for daily routine analysis of Taxotere, a major anticancer drug extensively used in clinical oncology.