Twenty patients with advanced sarcomas entered a pilot study with ifosfamide (IF) and mercaptoethane sulfonate sodium (Mesna) as a second-line treatment for six planned cycles. All patients had received prior doxorubicin- and cyclophosphamide-based chemotherapies. IF was administered at a dose of 3 g/m2 given as continuous intravenous infusion for 24 hr on day 1-5 with Mesna. In the absence of disease progression, chemotherapy was planned to be repeated every 4 weeks for six consecutive cycles. Following chemotherapy, only 2 patients (11%) achieved partial response with response durations of 6 and 9 months. There was no complete response. When considered for only high-grade tumors, the response rate reached up to 22%. Toxicity was reported for 48 cycles and the dose-limiting toxicities were myelosuppression (22%) and encephalopathy (17%). Chemotherapy protocol was changed after two or three courses in 16 patients with stable or progressive diseases. IF/Mesna chemotherapy at this dose and schedule was not found to be very promising in refractory sarcomas as a second-line chemotherapy.