Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a molecular chaperone whose association is required for the stability and function of multiple mutated, chimeric and over-expressed signaling proteins that promote the growth and/or survival of cancer cells. Hsp90 client proteins include mutated p53, Bcr-Abl, Raf-1, Akt, ErbB2 and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha). Hsp90 inhibitors, by interacting specifically with a single molecular target, cause the destabilization and eventual degradation of Hsp90 client proteins, and they have shown promising antitumor activity in preclinical model systems. One Hsp90 inhibitor, 17-allylaminogeldanamycin (17AAG), is currently in phase I clinical trial. Because of the chemoprotective activity of several proteins that are Hsp90 clients, the combination of an Hsp90 inhibitor with a standard chemotherapeutic agent could dramatically increase the in vivo efficacy of the therapeutic agent.