Physician Photo

Thomas Richard Spitzer, MD

Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Walter Bauer Firm Chief

  • Phone: 617-724-1124
Department of Medicine


  • Cancer Center
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Leukemia
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
Clinical Interests
Bone marrow transplantation for hematologic malignancies
Induction of allotolerance for solid organ transplantation
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Residency, Cornell University Medical Center
Fellowship, University Hospitals of Cleveland
Board Certifications
Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine
Hematology, American Board of Internal Medicine
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients
Accepting New Patients

BiographyDr. Spitzer is Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also Walter Bauer Firm Chief in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Spitzer received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bucknell University and his M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and his Hematology-Oncology fellowship at Case Western Reserve University. His primary academic interests include the development of novel strategies for performing stem cell transplants across HLA barriers and for the induction of specific tolerance for organ transplantation.

ResearchMy research interests have focused on the development of non-myeloablative preparative therapy for HLA-matched and mismatched donor transplantation for hematologic malignancy. With this approach, mixed chimerism has been reliably achieved and durable remissions have been demonstrated in patients with chemorefractory malignancy. For the first time, using this technique, sustained mixed lineage lymphohematopoietic chimerism has been induced following HLA haploidentical transplantation, and the results of this experience have been published in multiple journals, including Lancet and Transplantation. In addition, I am working closely with the solid organ transplant program in the development of mixed chimerism transplant strategies for the induction of donor specific allotolerance. From this collaboration, the first successful HLA matched donor bone marrow and kidney transplants for end stage renal disease due to multiple myeloma have been performed. Donor specific tolerance following combined bone marrow and kidney transplantation for renal failure in which there is no underlying malignancy has also been achieved with this strategy. The results of this experience, in which sustained specific tolerance was achieved in 4 of 5 patients, were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


Spitzer TR, Delmonico F, Tolkoff-Rubin N, McAfee S, Sackstein R, Saidman S, Colby C, Sykes M, Sachs DH, Cosimi AB. Combined HLA-matched donor bone marrow and renal transplantation for multiple myeloma with end stage renal disease: The induction of allograft tolerance through mixed lymphohematopoietic chimerism. Transplantation 1999 68; 480-484.

Spitzer TR, McAfee S, Sackstein R, Colby C, Toh HC, Multani P, Saidman S, Weymouth D, Preffer F, Poliquin C, Foley A, Cox B, Dumbkowski D, Andrews D, Sachs DH, Sykes M. The intentional induction of mixed chimerism and achievement of anti-tumor responses following non-myeloablative conditioning therapy and HLA-matched donor bone marrow transplantation for refractory hematologic malignancies. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2000; 6:309-320.

Dey B, Spitzer T. Current status of haploidentical stem cell transplantation. Br J Haematol 2006 Br J Haematol 2006; 135: 423-437.

Kawai T, Cosimi AB, Spitzer TR, Tolkoff-Rubin N, Suthanthiran M, Saidman S, Shaffer J, Preffer FI, Ding R, Sharma V, Fishman JA, Dey B, Ko DSC, Hertl M, Goes NB, Wong W, Williams WW, Colvin RB, Sykes M, Sachs DH. HLA-mismatched renal transplantation without maintenance immunosuppression. New Engl J Med 2008; 358: 353-361.

New procedure, new life

Eight years ago, Jennifer Searl used a handicapped permit to get around campus at the University of New Hampshire. Last October, Searl, 26, ran a half-marathon and felt so good afterward she immediately signed up for another. In between these two extremes lies not only a journey of a thousand steps, but one taken along a path Searl herself blazed - with help from the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center.

Cancer Center employee appreciation event

On July 30, MGH faculty and staff gathered under the Bulfinch Tent to celebrate the many contributions of MGH Cancer Center employees and the one hundred 2015 honorees.

Hematology/Oncology Infusion Unit
100 Blossom Street
Boston, MA 02114-2617

Phone: 617-724-1124
Fax: 617-724-1126