Background: Cystatin C has recently been proposed as an ideal marker for glomerular filtration rate (GFR). In this study, cystatin C serum levels were evaluated in comparison to serum creatinine concentrations and inulin clearances in patients with normal kidney function receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy to assess the validity of cystatin C as an alternative endogenous marker of GFR. Methods: Blood samples for the assessment of cystatin C, creatinine and inulin clearances were collected in patients before and after application of cisplatin in a clinical trial. Overall, 41 patients were included in the study, 35 of them were eligible receiving cisplatin in two different cisplatin-based chemotherapy schedules. Results: A 21% increase of cystatin C serum levels was demonstrated in the placebo group after application of cisplatin. Analysis of inulin clearances revealed a 23% loss of inulin clearance in patients of the placebo arm. In contrast, significant changes could not be detected by analysis of serum creatinine levels. Conclusions: Cystatin C represents a more sensitive clinical marker than serum creatinine for the early assessment of GFR damage caused by cisplatin. Changes in cystatin C serum concentrations correlate well to GFR decrease as measured by inulin clearance.