Between october 1985 and january 1988, 32 patients with heavily pretreated refractory or relapsing non seminomatous germ cell tumors were included in a phase II trial using etoposide, ifosfamide and high dose cisplatin (VIhP). Eight of 30 evaluable patients (29 per cent) achieved complete response with VIhP treatment alone or followed by surgical excision of residual lesions. Five patients in complete remission relapsed at 3, 4, 5.5 and 7 months, and 3 patients remained continuously free of disease at 17, 21 and 22 months. Severe myelosuppression with a WBC nadir less than 500/mm3 and a platelet nadir less than 20,000/mm3 was observed in 73 per cent of the patients, and renal toxicity (WHO grade 2 or 3) in 29 per cent. The VIhP regimen for salvage therapy gives the same rate of long term survivors than the regimen with conventional cisplatin dosage (VIP) but is much more toxic and cannot be recommended.