An international collaboration was set up to prospectively evaluate the role of allogeneic transplantation for adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and compare autologous transplantation with standard chemotherapy. Patients received 2 phases of induction and, if in remission, were assigned to allogeneic transplantation if they had a compatible sibling donor. Other patients were randomized to chemotherapy for 2.5 years versus an autologous transplantation. A donor versus no-donor analysis showed that Philadelphia chromosome-negative patients with a donor had a 5-year improved overall survival (OS), 53% versus 45% (P = .01), and the relapse rate was significantly lower (P < or = .001). The survival difference was significant in standard-risk patients, but not in high-risk patients with a high nonrelapse mortality rate in the high-risk donor group. Patients randomized to chemotherapy had a higher 5-year OS (46%) than those randomized to autologous transplantation (37%; P = .03). Matched related allogeneic transplantations for ALL in first complete remission provide the most potent antileukemic therapy and considerable survival benefit for standard-risk patients. However, the transplantation-related mortality for high-risk older patients was unacceptably high and abrogated the reduction in relapse risk. There is no evidence that a single autologous transplantation can replace consolidation/maintenance in any risk group. This study is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00002514.