Paclitaxel (PTX) and docetaxel (DTX) are key members of taxanes with high anti-tumor activity against various cancer cells. These chemotherapeutic agents suffer from a number of drawbacks and it seems that low solubility in water is the most important one. Although much effort has been made in improving the bioavailability of PTX and DTX, the low bioavailability and minimal accumulation at tumor sites are still the challenges faced in PTX and DTX therapy. As a consequence, bio-based nanoparticles (NPs) have attracted much attention due to unique properties. Among them, chitosan (CS) is of interest due to its great biocompatibility. CS is a positively charged polysaccharide with the capability of interaction with negatively charged biomolecules. Besides, it can be processed into the sheet, micro/nano-particles, scaffold, and is dissolvable in mildly acidic pH similar to the pH of the tumor microenvironment. Keeping in mind the different applications of CS in the preparation of nanocarriers for delivery of PTX and DTX, in the present review, we demonstrate that how CS functionalized-nanocarriers and CS modification can be beneficial in enhancing the bioavailability of PTX and DTX, targeted delivery at tumor site, image-guided delivery and co-delivery with other anti-tumor drugs or genes. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.