Anthracyclines and taxanes are currently the most effective drugs in the treatment of metastatic breast carcinoma. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and toxicity of paclitaxel and doxorubicin combination in the first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Forty-five women with metastatic breast cancer were recruited in the study. Median age was 49 years (range, 33-70). Treatment protocol: doxorubicin (50 mg/m(2)/day, 30-min infusion) followed by paclitaxel (200 mg/m(2)/day, 3-hr infusion) every 3 weeks. Response rates included complete response in 13 (28.9%) patients and partial response in 19 (42.2%) patients, with an overall response rate of 71%. Five (11%) patients had stable disease and 8 (18%) patients had progressive disease. At a median follow-up of 19.7 months, median time to progression for all patients was 19.9 months (95% confidence interval, 12.8 to 27 months). Median overall survival time was 28.4 months. Grade 3-4 nausea/vomiting and hematological toxicities were observed in 12 (26%) and 6 (13.3%) patients, respectively. Cardiac toxicity was observed in 2 (4.4%) patients. In this trial, paclitaxel and doxorubicin combination was demonstrated to be a favorable and active regimen in the first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer.