The molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) has emerged as an exciting molecular target for cancer therapy. It operates as part of a multichaperone complex and is essential for the conformation, stability, and function of several key oncogenic client proteins such as mutant p53, ERBB2, B-RAF, C-RAF, and CDK4. The HSP90-based chaperone machine is driven by the hydrolysis of ATP and ADP/ATP nucleotide exchange. Many of the inhibitors of HSP90 interrupt the intrinsic ATPase activity, causing degradation of the client proteins via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. The first-in-class HSP90 inhibitor in clinical trials is the geldanamycin analog, 17-allylamino, 17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG). The results that have emerged from these trials have been encouraging, with stable disease observed in two melanoma patients. Pharmacodynamic endpoints, such as induction of HSP70 and downregulation of C-RAF and CDK4 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and tumor biopsies from treated patients, provided evidence of HSP90 inhibition at well-tolerated doses. The toxicity of 17-AAG has been mild. Several preclinical studies have shown that 17-AAG may enhance the efficacy of a variety of chemotherapeutic agents. Phase II clinical trials in various cancers have been initiated as well as Phase I trials of combined therapy with 17-AAG. However, there are several limitations with 17-AAG such as solubility, stability, and hepatotoxicity. Thus, it is not surprising that new HSP90 agents are under development against this novel target for cancer therapy and several show promise.