Since many drugs are cytochrome P450 (CYP)-3A4 substrates, it has become common practice to assess drug-drug interaction (DDI) potential with a CYP3A4 inhibitor (ketoconazole) or inducer (rifampicin) in early drug development. Such an evaluation is relevant to anticancer drugs with metabolism governed by CYP3A4. DDIs with rifampicin are complex, involving other physiological mechanisms that may impact overall pharmacokinetics. Our objective was to study and delineate such mechanisms for oral versus intravenous anticancer drugs. We hypothesized that DDIs between anticancer drugs and rifampicin were primarily driven by CYP3A4 induction. This hypothesis was proven for the oral anticancer drugs; however, in some cases, other intrinsic mechanisms such as P-glycoprotein (Pgp)/UDP glucuronosyl transferase (UGT) induction and transporter inhibition may have played an important role alongside the induced CYP3A4 enzymes. The hypothesis that CYP3A4 induction would decrease drug exposure appeared paradoxical for intravenous romidepsin and-to a somewhat lesser extent-for cabazitaxel. In light of this dilemma in the interpretation of the pharmacokinetic data with rifampicin, several questions require further consideration. Given the complexity and paradoxical effects arising with DDIs with rifampicin, the continued preference for rifampicin as CYP3A4 inducer needs immediate re-appraisal.