||Eight Ti(IV) compounds 1-8, of the type [Ti(L-n)(2)] where L-n is a variously substituted dianionic tridentate acylhydrazone, were synthesized by reacting the appropriate hydrazide with 2-hydroxybenzaldehyde or 2 -hydroxyacetophenone and titanium(IV) tetra(isopropoxide) in a 2 : 2 : 1 molar ratio. The solid-state structures of 1-6 and 7 center dot CH2Cl2 were deduced from the single crystal X-ray diffraction data, which indicated that each L2- ligand is fully deprotonated and coordinated to the Ti(IV) cation via the enolic oxygen, the imino nitrogen and the phenolic oxygen atoms (ONO donor set) in an enol tautomeric form, the metal assuming the distorted octahedral geometry. The structures of pro-ligands H2L3 and H2L5 are also reported. All complexes displayed high hydrolytic stability. In vitro cytotoxicity assays towards human ovarian A2780 and colon HT-29 cancer cell lines revealed the activity dependence on the acylhydrazone substituents, with electron-donating groups on the phenolato units enhancing the solubility and promoting cytotoxicity. The lead compound 5 of this study presents IC50 values of 2.5 +/- 0.2 and 4.2 +/- 0.6 mu M for ovarian A2780 and colon HT-29 human cancer cells, respectively.