Purpose. The prognosis for patients with Ewing's tumours who have metastases at presentation or who are refractory to standard chemotherapy regimens remains poor. There is therefore a need to evaluate the role of new agents. This report describes the initial results of a prospective phase II trial of docetaxel in patients with progressive or refractory Ewing's tumours.Patients and methods. Fourteen patients with Ewing's tumours who had all relapsed or progressed after treatment with multi-drug cytotoxic therapy were treated with docetaxel 100 mg/m2 infused over 1 h, three weekly for a maximum of six cycles. Nine patients received granulocyte colony-stimulating factor with all cycles.Results. A partial response was observed in one patient and stable disease in two. The remaining patients progressed on treatment. The major toxicity was myelosuppression and infection with 36% patients experiencing grade 3 or 4 neutropenia and/or infection.Conclusion. Docetaxel appears to have some activity in Ewing's tumours even in heavily pre-treated patients. Further evaluation of its efficacy at an earlier stage of the disease is warranted.