Oncology is one of the few areas of medicine where most patients are treated intravenously rather than receiving oral drugs. Recently, several oral anti-cancer drugs have been approved and there are many more in development. Oral chemotherapy is attractive because of its convenience and ease of administration, particularly in the palliative setting. With an increasing number of oral agents emerging, we can expect to see a rapid rise in the use of oral chemotherapy in years to come. This article reviews recent developments in oral chemotherapy, both of traditional cytotoxics and novel, targeted agents, from the viewpoint of patients, physicians, drug developers and health-care providers.