A number of fluorine containing derivatives of daunomycin and Adriamycin have been synthesised with a fluorine substituent located on the C-9 side chain. They included the p-trifluoromethyl-(4) and p-fluorobenzoate (3) esters of Adriamycin and the trifluoro-ethyl-hydrazones of Adriamycin (2) and daunomycin (1). The less polar derivatives (esters 3 and 4) appear to enter HeLa cells more readily than the polar derivatives (hydrazones 1 and 2) as indicated by the rates and extent of cellular uptake and the uptake was by facilitated diffusion. All four fluorinated derivatives were less active than their parent anthracyclines, but the difference was less pronounced when considering specific potency. The fluorinated derivatives (1-4) behave sufficiently similar to daunomycin and Adriamycin to enable their use as fluorine probes in 19F NMR physicochemical and cellular studies of anthracyclines.