Disease relapse is a major cause of treatment failure after reduced-intensity allografts and while donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) can be effective salvage therapy they are associated with severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) when administered early after transplantation. We have therefore examined whether imatinib mesylate can delay relapse and postpone the requirement for DLI in 22 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) allografted using a reduced-intensity regimen. Imatinib was commenced on day + 35 and continued until 1 year after transplantation. Posttransplantation imatinib was well tolerated and abolished the risk of relapse during this period. Twenty-one patients completed 11 months of imatinib therapy, 15 of whom subsequently relapsed and received DLI. Ten patients to date have achieved molecular remission after DLI. Adjunctive targeted therapy allows the kinetics of disease relapse after a reduced-intensity allograft to be manipulated and represents a novel strategy by which outcome may be improved in patients who undergo transplantation for CML and other leukemias.