Total Therapy 1, the first tandem autotransplant trial for newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma, was designed to increase the frequency of complete response (CR) and thereby extend survival. With a median follow-up of 12 years, 62 of 231 initially enrolled patients are alive (17% at 15 years); 31 remain event free (7% at 15 years) including 16 of 94 (41%) that initially achieved CR. Currently alive patients less frequently had cytogenetic abnormalities (CAs) at baseline (P = 0.002), postenrolment (P < 0.001) and at relapse (P = 0.004); elevations of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) (P = 0.003) and lactate dehydrogenase (P = 0.029), anaemia (P = 0.029) and they more often completed two transplants within 12 months (P = 0.019). Postenrolment overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were superior in the absence of CA of the hypodiploidy or deletion 13 variety (P < 0.001 and 0.037 respectively) and in the presence of low CRP at baseline (P = 0.001 and 0.017 respectively). Postrelapse survival was longer in the absence of CA at relapse (P < 0.001), IgA isotype (P = 0.002), International Staging System stage 3 (P = 0.014), and when patients had two protocol transplants prior to relapse (P = 0.038). Ten-year EFS and OS could be accomplished in 15% and 33% of patients, respectively, when all agents available in 1989, especially high-dose melphalan, were applied together upfront for the management of myeloma.