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AMD473 (previously ZD0473) is a new-generation platinum compound with activity against a wide range of human tumour cell lines and xenografts, including carboplatin- and cisplatin-resistant lines. To assess its potential combined with a taxane, a phase I study of AMD473 and docetaxel in advanced cancer was initiated by the National Cancer Institute of Canada-Clinical Trials Group.Patients with advanced cancer, measurable disease, performance status Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 0–2, no major organ dysfunction, and one or no previous taxane regimen received escalating doses of AMD473 and docetaxel every 3 weeks, with a starting dose of AMD473 80 mg/m2 and docetaxel 60 mg/m2.Thirty-three patients enrolled on four dose levels were evaluable for toxicity and 25 patients were evaluable for response. The maximum tolerated dose was dose level 4 (AMD473 120 mg/m2 and docetaxel 75 mg/m2), with grade 4 neutropenia in both minimally and heavily pretreated patients causing dose-limiting toxicity. As well at dose level 4, one patient had grade 3 vomiting despite premedication. Dose level three was expanded for both groups of patients and was defined as the recommended phase II dose at AMD473 100 mg/m2 and docetaxel 75 mg/m2. Non-hematologic toxicities included fatigue, diarrhoea and other mild toxicities. There was one partial response in a patient with prostate cancer and stable disease in 15 patients. No apparent pharmacokinetic interaction was noted.AMD473 and docetaxel can be combined with a recommended phase II dose level of 100 mg/m2 and 75 mg/m2, respectively, given intravenously every 3 weeks. The combination has activity and should be explored in responsive tumour types.