Ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide: a highly effective cytoreduction and peripheral-blood progenitor-cell mobilization regimen for transplant-eligible patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

J Clin Oncol. 1999 Dec;17(12):3776-85. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1999.17.12.3776.


Purpose: To evaluate a chemotherapy regimen that consisted of ifosfamide administered as an infusion with bolus carboplatin, and etoposide (ICE) supported by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) for cytoreduction and stem-cell mobilization in transplant-eligible patients with primary refractory or relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).

Patients and methods: One hundred sixty-three transplant-eligible patients with relapsed or primary refractory NHL were treated from October 1993 to December 1997 with ICE chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Administration of three cycles of ICE chemotherapy was planned at 2-week intervals. Peripheral-blood progenitor cells were collected after cycle 3, and all patients who achieved a partial response (PR) or complete response (CR) to ICE chemotherapy were eligible to proceed to transplantation. Event-free and overall survival, ICE-related toxicity, and the number of CD34(+) cells collected after treatment with ICE and G-CSF were evaluated.

Results: All 163 patients were assessable for response, and there was no treatment-related mortality. A major response (CR/PR) was evident in 108 patients (66.3%); 89% of the responding patients underwent successful transplantation. Patient who underwent transplantation and achieved a CR to ICE had a superior overall survival to that of patients who achieved a PR (65% v 30%; P =.003). The median number of CD34(+) cells/kg collected was 8.4 x 10(6). The dose-limiting toxicity of ICE was hematologic, with 29.4% of patients developing grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia. There were minimal nonhematologic side effects.

Conclusion: ICE chemotherapy, with ifosfamide administered as a 24-hour infusion to decrease CNS side effects, and the substitution of carboplatin for cisplatin to minimize nephrotoxicity, is a very effective cytoreduction and mobilization regimen in patients with NHL. Furthermore, the quality of the clinical response to ICE predicts for posttransplant outcome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cell Movement
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Etoposide / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / administration & dosage
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization*
  • Humans
  • Ifosfamide / administration & dosage
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Stem Cells / physiology


  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Etoposide
  • Carboplatin
  • Ifosfamide