Ninety-nine consecutive patients with acute leukemia in first complete remission under age 50 (median age 27 years; age range 1 to 47 years) with a histocompatible sibling donor were treated with fractionated total body irradiation (1,320 cGy) and high-dose etoposide (60 mg/kg) followed by allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Sixty-one patients were diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), 34 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), 3 patients with biphenotypic acute leukemia, and 1 patient with acute undifferentiated leukemia. Thirty of the 34 patients with ALL had at least one of the following high-risk factors: age greater than 30, white blood cell count at presentation > 25,000/microL, extramedullary disease, certain chromosomal translocations, or the need for greater than 4 weeks of induction chemotherapy to achieve first complete remission. Cumulative probabilities of disease-free survival and relapse at 3 years were 61% and 12%, respectively, for the 61 patients with AML and 64% and 12%, respectively, for the 34 patients with ALL. By stepwise Cox regression analysis, significant prognostic variables for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia were the presence of acute graft-versus-host disease and increasing age, whereas for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, significant variables were age and the development of cytomegalovirus-associated interstitial pneumonia. Complications related to graft-versus-host disease and relapse of leukemia were the major causes of death.