We hypothesized that low-dose (550-cGy), single-exposure, high dose rate (30 cGy/ min) total body irradiation (TBI) with cyclophosphamide as conditioning for HLA-compatible unrelated donor (URD) bone marrow transplantation (BMT) would result in donor chimerism (DC) with a low risk for serious organ toxicity and treatment-related mortality (TRM). Twenty-six patients with good risk diagnoses (acute leukemia in first complete remission [CR] and chronic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia [CML]) and 84 with poor risk diagnoses underwent this regimen and URD BMT. Unsorted marrow nucleated cells were assessed for chimerism using VNTR probes. All DC occurred in 78 (86%) of 91 evaluable patients at 1 or more follow-up points. Graft failure occurred in 7 (7.7%) patients. Fatal organ toxicity occurred in only 2% of patients. TRM rates through 2 years of follow-up were 19% and 42% in those with good and poor risk diagnoses, respectively. Overall and disease-free survival rates in the good risk group were 47% and 40%, respectively, and in the poor risk group they were 25% and 21%, respectively, at a median follow-up for living patients of 850 days (range, 354-1588 days). This regimen resulted in 100% DC in most patients undergoing URD BMT with a relatively low risk for fatal organ toxicity and TRM.