Forty-one consecutive patients with lymphoma resistant to conventional combination chemotherapy have been entered into a study in which chemo- ablative therapy and autologous marrow rescue were used with curative intent. The actuarial proportion of 20 patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma remaining alive and free of recurrent disease is 49%, while that for 21 patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is 41%. Our clinical approach to these patients involved a strategy whereby lymphomatous nodes greater than 2 cm in diameter that persisted despite salvage chemotherapy were given boost radiation therapy immediately before chemo-ablation. However, patients with this variable had a significantly lower survival due to septic complications rather than recurrent disease. We conclude that the treatment strategy used in this study with some modification may improve further on the already high probability of long-term disease-free survival experienced by this group of patients.