Patients with advanced gastric cancer unresponsive or progressing after PELF chemotherapy (5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, cisplatin and epidoxorubicin) received paclitaxel at the dose of 225 mg/m2 every 3 weeks, over 3 h infusion. Thirty-six patients entered the study, and all of them were evaluable for response and toxicity. Toxicity was mild: apart from alopecia, grade 3 toxicities were leukopenia and thrombocytopenia in six patients, and grade 2 neurotoxicity in seven patients. Eight patients (22.2%, 95% CI: 9–35%) achieved an objective response, with a median duration of 5 months. Median survival time for all patients was 8 months. In 16 of 36 patients (44%), treatment determined a significant relief of symptoms. Out-patient paclitaxel given over 3 h may be effective as salvage treatment in patients with advanced gastric cancer refractory to first line chemotherapy.