We have undertaken a retrospective multicentre analysis of 139 patients (median age 44.4 years) undergoing allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for multiple myeloma using myeloablative conditioning. The majority of patients received total body irradiation (TBI) combined with either melphalan (56.9%) or cyclophosphamide (28.5%). Overall, transplant-related mortality (TRM) was 37.9% at 1 year and was not significantly different for patients receiving melphalan/TBI compared with cyclophosphamide/TBI. The overall complete remission (CR) rate, including patients in CR at the time of transplant, was greater for patients receiving melphalan/TBI (64.7%) compared with cyclophosphamide/TBI (47.2%)(P = 0.085). A significantly higher proportion of patients with continuing disease at the time of transplant achieved CR post-transplant following melphalan/TBI conditioning compared with cyclophosphamide/TBI (52.9% and 33.4% respectively, P = 0.009). Relapse/progression rates at 5 years were significantly lower for melphalan/TBI (36.7%) compared with cyclophosphamide/TBI (80.8%, P < 0.0001) and remained significant in multivariate analysis. This resulted in an overall survival at 5 years of 44.1% and 28.1% for melphalan/TBI and cyclophosphamide/TBI, respectively (P = 0.059). These results demonstrate that the type of conditioning for sibling allogeneic HSCT for myeloma has a major effect on transplant outcome.