The platinum-containing chemotherapeutic agents remain key components of many of the most effective regimens for the treatment of cancer. New information about the chemistry, pharmacology and molecular mechanisms by which these drugs work is leading to both the development of new drugs and more effective use of existing members of this class. Better definition of the genetic basis of malignancies is offering intriguing new insights in to how to use these drugs in a more individualized manner. 'Platinum and Other Heavy Metal Compounds in Cancer Chemotherapy: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications', edited by Andrea Bonetti, Steve B. Howell, Roberto Leone, and Franco Muggia, provides succinct summaries of the major new developments in field of platinum drug therapy drawn from presentations made at the 10th International Symposium on Platinum Coordination Compounds in Cancer Chemotherapy that took place in Verona, Italy, in December 2007. This meeting, held once every 4 years, brought together the worlds leading investigators working on platinum drugs and their contributions provide a detailed survey of the major research directions in this rapidly evolving field.