Background: The management of hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) still remains as an important challenge of daily oncology practice. Docetaxel has proved to be a first line treatment choice. All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) could potently inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in vitro and its combination with various anticancer agents results in increased cytotoxicity. Based on these data, our aim was to examine the synergistic/additive cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of combination of docetaxel and ATRA, in hormone- and drug refractory human DU-145 prostate cancer cells. Furthermore, we have searched for the underlying mechanisms of apoptosis by demonstrating apoptosis-related genes.