Experience with ifosfamide and etoposide combination chemotherapy in extensive-disease small-cell lung cancer

Ming Fang Wu, Reury Perng Perng, Yuh Min Chen, Jacqueline Ming Liu, Shu Ling Yang, Jacqueline Whang-Peng

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Background. Ifosfamide, an isomeric analogue of cyclophosphamide, has significant activity against many human tumors including lung cancer, testicular cancer, lymphoma and sarcoma, and may be superior to its analogue. Herein, we report our preliminary experience using ifosfamide and etoposide (IE) combination chemotherapy in previously untreated patients with extensive-disease (ED) small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). Methods. Patients with histologically or cytologically confirmed SCLC, measurable or assessable ED, no previous chemotherapy or thoracic irradiation, younger than 70 years of age, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) of 0- 3, and adequate marrow, liver, and renal functions were eligible for treatment which consisted of ifosfamide 2.0 g/m2/d given intravenously (IV) for 3 days with mesna 400 mg/m2/dose IV administered 0, 4, and 8 hours after the daily administration of ifosfarnide, and etoposide 80 mg/m2/d IV given for 3 days in every 4 weeks for a maximum of 6 cycles. Results. Between January 1994 and February 1995, 10 patients were enrolled into the treatment. All were men with a mean age of 63 ± 6 years. Five patients had an ECOG PS of 0 or 1, 4 patients of 2, and 1 patient of 3. A total of 45 cycles of IE were given. The mean number of cycles per patient was 4.5 ± 2.1. Six patients completed 6 courses of therapy. Thirty-two of 45 cycles (71%) of IE were given at full doses, while the remaining 13 cycles (29%) were given at 75% of doses. Nine patients were assessable for response. Eight patients had a partial remission and one patient had stable disease. The overall response rate was 89%. The median survival was 8 months (range, 0 to 23 months) and the median failure-free survival duration was 5.5 months (range, 0 to 18 months). The 1- and 2-year survival rates were 30% and 0%, respectively. Myelotoxicity was the most important toxicity, particularly neutropenia, while thrombocytopenia and anemia were mild. Five of 10 patients (50%) experienced grade 4 neutropenia, which occurred in 2 patients during the first course of IE and resulted in one patient death from early sepsis. Other nonhematologic toxicities were mild. Conclusions. Our preliminary experience demonstrates that ifosfamide is an active drug against SCLC and combination chemotherapy with IE results in similar response rate and median survival, but probably higher myelotoxicity than reported studies in patients with ED SCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalChinese Medical Journal (Taipei)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Extensive-disease
  • Ifosfamide
  • Small-cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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