Fludarabine, thiotepa and total body irradiation (TBI) has been used as conditioning in haplo-identical transplantation. We studied this conditioning regimen in adults undergoing matched sibling transplantation and alternative donor transplantation. A total of 30 consecutive patients underwent matched related, haplo-identical related or matched unrelated donor transplantation with fludarabine, thiotepa and TBI conditioning. All but four had advanced hematologic malignancies. For haplo-identical transplant, ATG was added to the regimen. All patients received peripheral blood stem cells; these were T-cell depleted for 2-antigen or 3-antigen mismatched related transplantation. Additional graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis consisted of tacrolimus and mini-methotrexate. One recipient of haplo-identical transplant failed to engraft; all other evaluable patients had prompt engraftment. Four patients died of regimen-related toxicity. In all, 14 additional patients died of regimen-related causes including four from failure to thrive with persistent thrombocytopenia and four from delayed pulmonary toxicity. Six patients relapsed. Progression-free survival at 12 months was 47% (90% CI: 25-69%) for recipients of HLA-identical sibling transplants and 30% (90% CI: 14-46%) for all patients. Five of six long-term survivors have extensive chronic GVHD. As a result of the delayed complications and a relatively high recurrence rate, we abandoned this regimen.