A 31-year-old patient developed chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in November, 1983. In November 1984, following a diagnosis of acceleration, he received an autologous hemopoietic transplant after conditioning with cyclophosphamide and total body irradiation. The autologous marrow was purged with mafosfamide. Over 20 years, the patient remained in chronic phase of CML. Multiple nonrecurrent clonal chromosomal abnormalities appeared leading to a very complex karyotype, including among others involvement of chromosomes 1, 7, 9, 13, 19, and X. Fluorescent in situ hybridization showed that the two chromosomes 9 were involved. Acute myeloid crisis was diagnosed in February, 2004. Treatment with imatinib mesylate resulted within 6 months in a total disappearance of all chromosomal abnormalities with a complete cytogenetic and molecular response, which persists 3 years later. We question whether the ex vivo purging procedure with mafosfamide has favored the occurrence of these particular cytogenetic abnormalities (with no independent oncogenic potential) within the original leukemic stem cell pool. It remains unclear whether the autologous transplantation has indeed resulted into some prolongation of the duration of the chronic phase, which lasted for 20 years. At time of acute crisis, the dramatic response to imatinib mesylate leading to a complete cytogenetic and molecular response is noteworthy.