Chemotherapy with ifosfamide, epirubicin and etoposide (IEV) is an effective treatment regimen for refractory/relapsed non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Rituximab has been shown to improve response rates, progression-free survival and overall survival in B-cell NHL. This study included 85 patients who were treated with IEV or rituximab-IEV (R-IEV) for refractory/relapsed B-cell NHL. The overall response rate was 40.7% (IEV) versus 68.8% (R-IEV). Fever occurred after 23.4% of IEV and 19.4% of R-IEV cycles. 94.9% of patients mobilized sufficient numbers of CD34+ cells (IEV) versus 93.8% (R-IEV). Fifty-five patients (64.7%) proceeded to high-dose therapy after IEV+/-rituximab. The median survival time was 60.0 months (IEV) and 19.5 months (R-IEV), and has not been reached for patients who received high-dose therapy. The addition of rituximab to IEV salvage chemotherapy increases the response rates in B-cell NHL without affecting stem cell mobilization, but overall survival for patients proceeding to high-dose chemotherapy is not improved.