Forty patients with refractory Hodgkin's disease (24 patients) or non- Hodgkin's lymphoma (16 patients) who were considered for high-dose therapy but not for autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) due to BM metastases, previous pelvic irradiation, a history of marrow involvement by tumor or hypocellular marrow in conventional harvest sites received high-dose therapy and autologous peripheral blood (PB) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Disappearance of circulating neutrophils and development of RBC and platelet transfusion-dependence was followed, in the evaluable patients, by reappearance of 0.5 x 10(9)/L circulating granulocytes and sufficient platelets to obviate the need for platelet transfusions at a median of 25 days after transplantation. Twenty-three patients experienced a clinical complete remission (CR). The projected 2-year event-free survival was 24% for all 40 patients and 49% for the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients. The projected 18-month event-free survival for the Hodgkin's disease patients was 15%. PB stem cell transplantation provided an opportunity to administer high-dose salvage therapy to patients with refractory lymphoma who otherwise were not candidates for such therapy. For some of those patients, the high-dose therapy produced prolonged survival, free of tumor progression.