Docetaxel was proven to be effective as second-line therapy for patients with advanced NSCLC after failure of platinum-based front-line chemotherapy. We designed this phase I/II study to define the Maximum Tolerated Dose of weekly docetaxel combined with weekly vinorelbine, and subsequently evaluate tolerability and activity of this schedule in NSCLC patients who were progressive after treatment with either cisplatin and gemcitabine or carboplatin and paclitaxel regimens. To be eligible for the study, patients were required to have a WHO performance status < or =2, failure after at least two cycles of first platinum-based chemotherapy, and no prior treatment with docetaxel and vinorelbine. A total of 27 patients were enrolled in this phase I/II study. A weekly docetaxel dose of 25 mg/m2 was recommended in combination with fixed vinorelbine dose of 20 mg/m2, and 24 patients were treated at this dose level. Severe neutropenia (62%) and febrile neutropenia (29%) were the most frequent toxicities, with 83% of patients requiring dose modification or delay. In the phase II study, 5 (21%) patients obtained a partial response, 8 (33%) patients had stable disease, whereas 10 (42%) patients progressed. After a median follow-up of 18.7 months, median survival was 8 months, with 30% surviving at 1 year. Regardless of the use of weekly docetaxel schedule, this regimen was highly myelosuppressive, and did not seem to improve response rate and survival compared to single-agent docetaxel. No further developments of this schedule are warranted.