25 previously untreated patients with inoperable or metastatic adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus or oesophageal-gastric junction area were treated with ifosfamide 6 g/m2 over 48 hours, combined with mesna 6 g/m2. 1 complete response and 1 partial response were seen among 23 patients evaluable, with a response duration of 29+ months and 7 months, respectively. Toxicity was not severe: grade 3 infection in 2 patients, grade 3 leucopenia in 3 patients and grade 3 nausea in 4 patients. No life-threatening episodes or central nervous system toxicity were encountered. Ifosfamide has limited activity in adenocarcinoma of the oesophageal-gastric junction area.