Absolute lymphocyte count at day 15 (ALC-15) after autologous peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (APHSCT) is an independent prognostic factor for survival in multiple myeloma (MM); however, factors affecting ALC-15 in MM remain unknown. We hypothesized that the dose of infused peripheral blood autograft lymphocytes (autograft absolute lymphocyte count: A-ALC) impacts ALC-15 recovery. Between 1989 and 2001, 267 consecutive MM patients underwent APHSCT. We set out to determine the correlation between A-ALC and ALC-15 and the utility of A-ALC as a marker for ALC-15 recovery. A-ALC was found to be both a strong predictor for area under curve (AUC=0.93; P=0.0001) and strongly correlated with (r(s)=0.83; P=0.0001) ALC-15 recovery. Higher infused A-ALC was significantly correlated with an ALC-15>/=500/microl. In addition, median post-transplant overall survival (OS) and time to progression (TTP) were longer in patients who received an A-ALC>/=0.5 x 10(9) lymphocytes/kg versus A-ALC <0.5 x 10(9) lymphocytes/kg (58 vs 30 months, P=0.00022; 22 vs 15 months, P<0.00012, respectively). Multivariate analysis demonstrated A-ALC as an independent prognostic indicator for OS and TTP. These results indicate that an infused dose of autograft lymphocytes significantly impacts clinical outcome post-APHSCT in MM.