We analyzed data from 263 patients with acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) autografted in first remission (CR) during the period from January, 1982 to January, 1987 at one of 34 centers in the European Bone Marrow Transplant Group. The median age of patients was 30 years (range, 1 to 65). The median interval between achieving CR and autografting was 5 months (range, 1 to 23). Of the 263 patients, 131 patients received cytoreductive regimens that included total body irradiation (TBI); the remainder received various combinations of cytotoxic drugs. Sixty-nine patients received autologous marrow purged in vitro with mafosfamide, and 194 received unpurged marrow. The median follow-up was 28 months (range, 12 to 97). For patients with standard risk AML in CR1 autografted after TBI (n = 107), the leukemia-free survival (LFS) was higher, and the probability of relapse was lower in recipients of purged than of unpurged marrow (63% versus 34%, P = .05 and 23% versus 55%, relative risk 0.34, P = .005, respectively). The superior results of purging were most obvious in patients autografted within 6 months of achieving CR (probability of relapse, 20% versus 61%, P = .01). Patients with longer intervals between CR and autografting had higher LFS and lower probability of relapse than those autografted early in CR (intervals greater than 9 months, 7 to 9 months, 4 to 7 months, and less than or equal to 3 months: LFS = 56%, 40%, 35%, 27%, P = .007, probability of relapse = 25%, 56%, 59%, 67%, P = .005; respectively). We conclude that marrow purging with mafosfamide may be valuable for patients autografted early in first CR.