The first autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Europe for a patient with severe refractory systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was performed in Genoa in 1996. Since then, 32 patients with a wide spectrum of autoimmune diseases (ADs) received autologous transplants, 22 of them with multiple sclerosis (MS). There were no fatal adverse events. All patients had complete or very good partial remissions, but relapses were frequent, especially in SLE, though never as aggressive as pretransplant. The mechanism of action of this intervention remains not completely understood, as briefly discussed here.