Cdc42 is a member of the Rho family of small GTPases and a key regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, controlling cell motility, polarity and cell cycle progression. It signals downstream of the master regulator Ras and is essential for cell transformation by this potent oncogene. Overexpression of Cdc42 is observed in several cancers, where it is linked to poor prognosis. As a regulator of both cell architecture and motility, deregulation of Cdc42 is also linked to tumour metastasis. Like Ras, Cdc42 and other components of the signalling pathways it controls represent important potential targets for cancer therapeutics. In this review, we consider the progress that has been made targeting Cdc42, its regulators and effectors, including new modalities and new approaches to inhibition. Strategies under consideration include inhibition of lipid modification, modulation of Cdc42–GEF, Cdc42–GDI and Cdc42-effector interactions, and direct inhibition of downstream effectors.