Sixteen patients with advanced (stage III) malignant melanoma were treated with escalating doses of intravenous BCNU and melphalan starting at 400 and 35 mg/m2, respectively, and escalating to 1,000 and 110 mg/m2, respectively, combined with autologous marrow transplantation. The duration of granulocytopenia and time to granulocyte recovery was similar in all groups regardless of chemotherapy dose. Platelet recovery was delayed in patients receiving the highest doses of chemotherapy. This study showed that bone marrow colony-forming units in culture took as long as 6 months to recover. This was adequate to bring peripheral blood counts to normal but not to pretreatment levels. These studies indicate that autologous bone marrow transplantation is beneficial in enhancing short-term recovery, but may not be beneficial in the long-term hematopoietic recovery.