Cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens used in the 1980s led to a small but significant prolongation of survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), achieving median survival of approximately 7 months compared with the 4 months seen with best supportive care. Vinorelbine, docetaxel, and gemcitabine are new drugs with promising activity in NSCLC. For each of these drugs, median survivals in excess of 7 months have been reported in single-agent studies. When they are used in combination with cisplatin, 10-month median survivals have been achieved. In addition, docetaxel appears capable of inducing responses and prolonging survival when used as second-line therapy in patients who have failed platinum therapy. The combination of these new agents with cisplatin or with each other may further improve survival prospects for patients with advanced NSCLC.