Thirty-three patients with recurrent or refractory Hodgkin's disease were treated with high-dose cyclophosphamide, BCNU, and etoposide and supported with either autologous bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells or both. Peripheral blood stem cells were comparable to bone marrow in supporting the recovery of hematopoiesis. Twenty-five patients (76%) were in complete remission following this therapy of whom 13 have subsequently relapsed. Twelve remain alive and disease free from 10 to 47 months. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of disease-free survival at 28 months for the entire 33 patients is 32% (95% confidence interval, 13-50%). Poor outcome in six patients was associated with bone marrow involvement by Hodgkin's disease at the time of peripheral blood stem cell collection. These six patients' survival, disease-free survival, the duration of complete remission were all significantly worse than for the 27 patients who were supported with bone marrow (n = 23), peripheral blood stem cells (n = 2), or both (n = 2), and whose marrows were free of disease at the time of stem cell collection. These data demonstrate that intensive therapy with autologous transplantation can produce extended disease-free survival for some patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease and that peripheral blood stem cell support can effectively be used for hematopoietic reconstitution. However, our observations also suggest that with this preparative regimen, bone marrow involvement at the time of peripheral blood stem cell collection is predictive for a poor outcome and alternate approaches to treatment should be considered for this subset of patients.