Use of total body irradiation (TBI) and/or chemotherapy as a preparation for marrow transplantation in the treatment of leukemia has been only moderately successful in the clinic. Although cyclophosphamide (CY) has shown promise as a marrow ablative agent, leukemia relapses are often found, and optimal therapeutic protocols have not been established. Our transplantation therapy studies of murine leukemia with parental recipients and hybrid donors provide an excellent model for research aimed at improved survival of human transplant patients. Utilizing a murine leukemia induced by a virus, various doses of CY in combination with sub-lethal irradiation were compared to determine the optimal pretreatment for transplantation therapy. Both normal and leukemic mice were engrafted with virus resistant, histocompatible marrow following these preparations, then monitored for survival and long term effects. Leukemic mice were also evaluated for pluripotent as well as myeloid committed stem cells as a measure of the effectiveness of the treatment in elimination of leukemic cells. Leukemic groups were also compared for the percentage and time of leukemia relapse. All CY/X-ray combinations were more effective in elimination of stem cell populations than supralethal TBI alone. However, the best survival was obtained with lethal TBI alone or low dose CY in combination with 550 R. © 1979.