Photo of Denise Faustman,  MD, PhD

Denise Faustman, MD, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital
Phone: (617) 726-4084
Fax: (617) 726-4095


LMurphy1@partners.org

Denise Faustman, MD, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Clinical Assistant, Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Director, Immunobiology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

This study is part of our research program seeking to develop new, potentially curative treatments for autoimmune diseases and understand the regeneration of organs that occurs after autoimmunity is removed. . In this process we discovered a splenic stem cell with the unique human and murine adult expression of the Hox11 protein, a well-known oncogene that was originally described by Dr. Stan Korsmeyer. But unlike traditional opinion of this protein as an oncogene we discovered Hox11 identifies a very early fetal cell with multi-lineage potential to regenerate even in adult mice. In both the mouse and human this stem cell in non-diseased animals sits exclusively in the spleen. To date Hox11 stem cells have been shown to regenerate insulin-secreting islets, parts of the inner ear, salivary glands, tongue and bone tissues. Also additional work for our lab has suggested that splenectomy might be a new treatment option for ALL human tumors and a means to test the stem cell hypothesis by perhaps removing the origins of the cancer stem cell in an unusual location i.e. the spleen not the bone marrow of adults.

Publications

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  • Okubo Y, Mera T, Wang L, Faustman DL. Homogeneous expansion of human T-regulatory cells via tumor necrosis factor receptor 2. Sci Rep 2013; 3:3153. PubMed
  • Dieguez-Acuna FJ, Gygi SP, Davis M, Faustman DL. Splenectomy: a new treatment option for ALL tumors expressing Hox-11 and a means to test the stem cell hypothesis of cancer in humans. Leukemia 2007; 21:2192-4. PubMed