Between February 1986 and September 1987, we conducted a phase Ⅱ clinical trial of a three-drug combination in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients. The combination consisted of ifosfamide, 1,300mg/m(2), on days 1 through 5; cisplatin, 20mg/m(2), on days 1 through 5; and vindesine, 3mg/m(2), on days 1 and 8. Courses were repeated at 3 to 4-week intervals until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity occurred. Of 26 patients evaluated, two had a complete response and 16 had a partial response, with an overall response rate 69%. The projected median response duration was 30 weeks. The median survival for all patients has not been reached: 16 of 26 patients are still alive with a median follow-up period of 46 weeks (range, 16 to 95 weeks). Responders survived significantly longer than non-responders. The major toxicity was myelosuppression. One patient died of septicemia while neutropenic, but the toxicity was generally well-tolerated by the rest of the patients. Neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity occurred less frequently. However, these toxicities were cumulative and persistent, and were the major cause of discontinuation of the regimens in a few patients. These results indicate that the three-drug combination is active against non-small cell lung cancer and warrants further clinical trials.