Ifosfamide and epirubicin combination in untreated sarcomas: Two treatment schedules

L. Serrone, M. Zeuli, P. Papaldo, C. Nardoni, U. Pacetti, F. Cognetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The Epirubicin (EPI) and ifosfamide (IFO) combination has been widely tested in soft tissue sarcomas, even though the optimal schedule of drug administration has still to be defined. In this article, we reviewed the activity and the toxicity of two EPI- and IFO-based schedules in newly diagnosed sarcomas. Material and Methods: 22 patients (group A) received a 'concurrent' schedule of short-infusion IFO at total dose of 7.5-9 g/m2 over 5 days plus iv bolus EPI at 90-120 mg/m2/cycle, repeated every 3 weeks. The other 22 patients (group B) received a 'sequential' schedule of dose-intense, continuous infusion IFO at a total dose of 14-18 g/m2 for 2 cycles followed by bimonthly EPI at 120-160 mg/m2/cycle. Application of growth factors was planned for each course of treatment. Results: Since 1994, 44 consecutive patients have been treated. The overall response rate was 35% with no significant differences between the two treatment groups in terms of response rate (group A: 33%, group B: 37%), time to progression (group A: 7 months, group B: 8 months), and overall survival (group A: 12 months, group B: 15 months). General tolerance to treatment was better in group A. Gastrointestinal symptoms occurred significantly more often with the sequential regimen. Severe hematologic toxicity was common but no toxic deaths were observed. Conclusions: Based on this limited experience, a concurrent schedule of EPI and IFO seems to be an appropriate management strategy in the front-line therapy of advanced sarcomas. Nevertheless, a randomized trial is warranted to define the optimal dosages to be used for further clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-468
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Concurrent chemotherapy
  • Epirubicin
  • Ifosfamide
  • Sequential chemotherapy
  • Soft tissue sarcomas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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