Cisplatin plus a third-generation anti-cancer drug, such as vinorelbine, gemcitabine, or the taxanes, are the standard regimen used in the first-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and there is no significant difference in efficacy among the different regimens. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of docetaxel plus cisplatin (DC) versus vinorelbine plus cisplatin (VC) in chemo-naïve NSCLC patients. From December 2003 to May 2005, 94 patients were enrolled. The treatment dose was D 60 mg/m2 and C 60 mg/m2 intravenous infusion (IV) on day 1, or V 25 mg/m2 IV on days 1 and 8, and C 60 mg/m2 IV on day 1, every 3 weeks. In all, 209 cycles of DC and 230 cycles of VC were given to the patients in the DC (median five cycles) and VC (median five cycles) arms, respectively. There were 19 partial responses and one complete response (overall 43.5%) in the DC arm, and no complete responses, but 22 partial responses (overall 45.8%), in the VC arm. Myelosuppression was the major toxicity occurring in both arms, with grades 3 or 4 neutropenia occurring in 72.9% and 71.7% of patients, respectively. Except for alopecia (p=0.005) and diarrhea (p<0.001), which were more common in the DC arm, no significant differences in toxicity profiles were found between the two treatment arms. The median time to disease progression was 4.7 months in the DC arm and 6.3 months in the VC arm (p=0.7355). Median survival time was 13 months in the DC arm and 13.8 months in the VC arm (p=0.9656). The 1-year survival rate was 55.5% and 51.7%, respectively. After treatment, the Lung Cancer Symptom Scales showed no significant difference between the two treatment arms. We concluded that both DC and VC are appropriate regimens for use in the first-line treatment of Chinese NSCLC patients. Asthenia, one of the major side effects of docetaxel, was not a major problem in the present study. Although both regimens produced a high incidence of severe neutropenia, the majority of patients recovered rapidly without sequelae; and VC treatment is still a standard chemotherapy for Chinese NSCLC patients in Taiwan.