Taxanes play an important role in the management of early-stage and advanced-stage breast cancer. Initial studies sought to determine whether there was antitumor activity in patients with metastatic disease, and identify the optimal agent, dose, and schedule. Subsequent studies established a role for both paclitaxel and docetaxel as adjuvant therapy, determined whether they should be administered concurrently or sequentially with other cytotoxic agents, and also determined the optimal agent, dose, and schedule. Taxanes have also been combined with biologic agents, including anti-HER2-directed therapy and antiangiogenic therapy. The aim of this article is to provide a review of pivotal trials evaluating taxane therapy that have informed the current approach for the use of taxanes in early-stage and advanced-stage breast cancer.