A prospective randomized study was conducted comparing two conditioning regimens for the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase by marrow transplantation from HLA identical siblings. Sixty-nine patients received 60 mg/kg of cyclophosphamide on each of 2 successive days followed by 6 fractions of total body irradiation each of 2.0 Gy (CY-TBI), and 73 patients received 16 mg/kg of busulfan delivered over 4 days followed by 60 mg/kg CY on each of 2 successive days (BU-CY). There was no significant difference between the CY-TBI and the BU-CY groups in the 3-year probabilities of survival (0.80 for both), relapse (0.13 for both), or event-free survival (CY-TBI, 0.68; BU-CY, 0.71) or in speed of engraftment or incidence of venocclusive disease of the liver. The 4-year probabilities of survival and event- free survival for patients transplanted within 1 year of diagnosis were 0.86 and 0.72, respectively, for each group. Significantly more patients in the CY-TBI group experienced major creatinine elevations. There was significantly more acute graft-versus-host disease in the CY- TBI group. Fever days, positive blood cultures, hospitalizations, and inpatient hospital days were significantly more common in the CY-TBI group than in the BU-CY group. In conclusion, the BU-CY regimen was better tolerated than, and associated with survival and relapse probabilities that compare favorably with, the CY-TBI regimen.