A reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic (RP-HPLC) method has been developed and validated for the quantitative determination of paclitaxel in human urine. A comparison is made between solid-phase extraction (SPE) and liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) as sample pretreatment. The HPLC system consists of an APEX octyl analytical column and acetonitrile-methanol-0.2 microM ammonium acetate buffer pH 5 (4:1:5, v/v) as the mobile phase. Detection is performed by UV absorbance measurement at 227 nm. The SPE procedure involves extraction on Cyano Bond Elut columns. n-Butylchloride is the organic extraction fluid used for the LLE. The recoveries of paclitaxel in human urine are 79 and 75% for SPE and LLE, respectively. The accuracy for the LLE and SPE sample pretreatment procedures is 100.4 and 104.9%, respectively, at a 5 micrograms/ml drug concentration. The lower limit of quantitation is 0.01 microgram/ml for SPE and 0.25 microgram/ml for LLE. Stability data of paclitaxel in human urine are also presented.