INTRODUCTION: In 1996 it was decided that high-dose chemotherapy with peripheral stem cell support should be offered by all five university hospitals in Norway. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We report on the first 49 patients from the western part of Norway treated with this modality at Haukeland University Hospital in the 1996-98 period. RESULTS: All patients had a total of > 2-10(6) CD34 positive cells/kg collected before high-dose chemotherapy. To achieve this critical stem cell dose, five patients had to have three or more stem cell collections; four of them had to be mobilised several times. Poor stem cell mobilisation was mostly marked in patients with soft tissue sarcoma and testicular cancer, but was also observed in a few heavily pre-treated patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. With the exception of one lymphoma patient who developed a rapid bone marrow relapse, all patients had satisfactory sign of bone marrow regeneration after reinfusion of the stem cells. This also applied to the poor mobilisors. No treatment-related deaths have occurred. Four to 38 months after high-dose therapy, 33% of patients with multiple myeloma and 52% of patients with malignant lymphoma were alive and in complete remission. Three of the four patients with soft tissue sarcoma relapsed 3-7 months after high-dose chemotherapy.