Background. sequential chemotherapy can maintain dose intensity and preclude cumulative toxicity by increasing drug diversity. Purpose. to investigate the toxicity and efficacy of the sequential regimen of gemcitabine followed by paclitaxel in first line advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with good performance status (PS). Patients and methods. gemcitabine 1250 mg/m(2) was administered on day 1 and 8 of course 1 and 2; Paclitaxel 150 mg/m(2) on day 1 and 8 of course 3 and 4. Primary endpoint was response rate (RR), secondary endpoints toxicity and time to progression (TTP). Results. Of the 21 patients (median age 56, range 38-80 years; 62% males, 38% females) 10% (2/21) had stage IIIB, 90% (19/21) stage IV, 15% PS 0, 85% PS 1. 20% of patients had a partial response, 30% stable disease, 50% progressive disease. Median TTP was 12 weeks (range 6-52 weeks), median overall survival (OS) 8 months (range 1-27 months), 1-year survival was 33%. One patient had grade 3 hematological toxicity, 2 patients a grade 3 peripheral neuropathy. Conclusions. sequential administration of gemcitabine followed by paclitaxel in first line treatment of advanced NSCLC had a favourable toxicity profile, a median TTP and OS comparable with other sequential trials and might, therefore, be a treatment option for NSCLC patients with high ERCC1 expression.