Combined etoposide, ifosfamide, and cisplatin in the treatment of patients with advanced thymoma and thymic carcinoma: an intergroup trial

Cancer. 2001 Jun 1;91(11):2010-5.


Background: Patients with thymic tumors (thymoma and thymic carcinoma) are known to respond to a variety of chemotherapeutic agents, including single-agent ifosfamide and cisplatin with etoposide. The purpose of this trial was to evaluate the response rate, progression free survival, overall survival, and toxicity of combined etoposide, ifosfamide, and cisplatin (VIP) in patients with advanced thymoma and thymic carcinoma.

Methods: From July 1995 through February 1997, 34 patients with advanced thymoma or thymic carcinoma were entered on trial to receive etoposide (75 mg/m2 on Days 1-4) ifosfamide (1.2 g/m2 on Days 1-4), and cisplatin (20 mg/m2 on Days 1-4). Cycles were repeated every 3 weeks for four total cycles.

Results: Among 28 evaluable patients (pathology review excluded 6 patients), there were no complete responses and 9 partial responses (complete and partial responses combined, 32%; 95% confidence interval, 16-52%). The median follow-up was 43 months (range, 12.8-52.3 months), the median duration of response was 11.9 months (range, < 1-26 months), and the median overall survival was 31.6 months. Based on Kaplan-Meier estimates, the 1-year and 2-year survival rates were 89% and 70%, respectively. The toxicity was predominantly myelosuppression.

Conclusions: The VIP regimen has moderate activity in patients with advanced thymic malignancies. However, with limited follow-up, the results of this trial appear to be inferior to other chemotherapy regimens reported in large Phase II trials performed in patients with this disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ifosfamide / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thymoma / drug therapy*
  • Thymoma / pathology
  • Thymus Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Thymus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Etoposide
  • Cisplatin
  • Ifosfamide

Supplementary concepts

  • ICE protocol 1