Highlighted Publications


  • Cruz VH, Arner EN, Wynne KW, Scherer PE, and Brekken RA. Loss of Tbk1 kinase activity protects mice from diet-induced metabolic dysfunction. Mol Metab. 2018; pii: S2212-8778(18)30420-4. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2018.06.007. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29935921
  • Belzile O, Huang X, Gong J, Carlson J, Schroit A, Brekken RA, and FreimarkBD. Antibody targeting of phosphatidylserine for the detection and immunotherapy of cancer. Immunotargets Ther. 2018; 7:1-14. PMCID: PMC5788995.
  • Ludwig KF*, Du W*, Sorrelle NB, Wnuk-Lipinska K, Topalovski M, Toombs JE, Cruz VH, Yabuuchi S, Rajeshkumar NV, Maitra A, Lorens JB, and Brekken RA. Small-molecule inhibition of Axl targets tumor immune suppression and enhances chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer. Cancer Research 2018; 78:246-255. PMCID: PMC5754222.
  • Cruz VH and Brekken RA. Assessment of TANK-binding kinase 1 as a therapeutic target in cancer. J. Cell Comm Signal. 2018; 12:83-90. PMCID: PMC5842199.


  • Huang H, Du W and Brekken RA. Extracellular matrix induction of intracellular reactive oxygen species. Antioxid. Redox. Signal. 2017; 27:774-784. PMID: 28791881
  • Aguilera KY*, Huang H*, Du W, Hagopian MM, Wang Z, Hinz S, Hwang TH, Wang H, Fleming JB, Castrillon DH, Ren X, Ding K, and Brekken RA. Inhibition of discoidin domain receptor 1 reduces collagen-mediated tumorigenicity in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Mol. Can. Therapeutics 2017; doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0834. PMID 28864681
  • Sharma R, Huang X, Brekken RA, and Schroit AJ. Detection of phosphatidylserine-positive exosomes for the diagnosis of early-stage malignancies. Brit J Cancer 2017; 117:545-552. PMID 28641308
  • Sorrelle N, Dominguez AT, and Brekken RA. From top to bottom: midkine and pleiotrophin as emerging players in immune regulation. Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2017; 102:277-286. PMID: 28356350


  • Topalovski M, Hagopian M, Wang M, and Brekken RA. Hypoxia and Transforming Growth Factor Beta Cooperate to Induce Fibulin-5 Expression in Pancreatic Cancer. J. Biol. Chem. 2016; 291:22244-22252. PMID: 27531748
  • Birge RB, Boeltz S, Kumar S, Carlson J, Wanderley J, Calianese D, Barcinski MA, Brekken RA, Huang X, Hutchins JT, Freimark B, Empig C, Mercer J, Schroit AJ, Schett F, and Herrmann M. Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a global immunosuppressive signal in efferocytosis, infectious disease, and cancer. Cell Death Differ. 2016; 23:962-978. PMID: 26915293. PMC4987730
  • Topalovski M and Brekken RA. Matrix control of pancreatic cancer: new insights into fibronectin signaling. Cancer Letters 2016; [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26742464
  • Sorrelle N and  Brekken RA. KDR (kinase insert domain receptor)/Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 2 (VEGFR2). Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol 2016; in press.


  • Wang M*, Topalovski M*, Toombs JE, Wright CM, Moore ZR, Boothman DA, Yanagisawa H, Wang H, Witkiewicz A, Castrillon DH, Brekken RA. Fibulin-5 Blocks Microenvironmental ROS in Pancreatic Cancer. Cancer Research 2015; 75:5058-5069. PMID: 26577699. * equal contribution
  • Gerber DE, Hao G, Watkins L, Stafford JH, Anderson J, Holbein B, Öz OK, Mathews D, Thorpe PE, Hassan G, Kumar A, Brekken RA, Sun X. Tumor-specific targeting by Bavituximab, a phosphatidylserine-targeting monoclonal antibody with vascular targeting and immune modulating properties, in lung cancer xenografts. American  Journal of Nuclear Medicina and Molecular Imaging 2015; 5:493-503. PMCID: PMC4620176.
  • Li T, Aredo B, Zhang K, Zhong X, Pulido JS, Wang S, He YG, Huang X, Brekken RA, Ufret-Vincenty RL. Phosphatidylserine (PS) Is Exposed in Choroidal Neovascular Endothelium: PS-Targeting Antibodies Inhibit Choroidal Angiogenesis In Vivo and Ex Vivo. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2015; 56:7137-7145.
  • Ocal O, Pashkov V, Kollipara RK, Zolghadri Y, Cruz VH, Hale MA, Heath BR, Artyukhin AB, Christie AL, Tsoulfas P, Lorens JB, Swift GH, Brekken RA, Wilkie TM. A rapid in vivo screen for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma therapeutics. Disease models & mechanisms 2015; 8:1201-1211. PMID: 26438693.
  • Kirane* A, Ludwig* KW, Sorrelle N, Haaland G, Dandal T, Ranaweera R, Toombs JE, Wang M, Dineen SP, Micklem D, Dellinger MT, Lorens JB, and Brekken RA. Warfarin blocks Gas6-mediated Axl activation required for pancreatic cancer epithelial plasticity and metastasis. Cancer Research 2015; 75:3699-3705. PMCID: PMC4572915. *equal contribution.


  • Hagopian MM & Brekken RA. Stromal Tgfβr2 signaling: a gateway to EMT and dissemination in PDA. Molecular & Cellular Oncology. 2014; 2(3): e975606. PMC4905287
  • Ostapoff KT, Cenik BK, Wang M, Ye R, Xu X, Nugent D, Hagopian MM, Topalovski M, Rivera LB, Carroll KD, and Brekken RANeutralizing the activity of murine TGF-ß receptor 2 promotes a differentiated tumor cell phenotype and inhibits pancreatic cancer metastasis. Cancer Research, online PMID: 25060520.
  • Brownlee Z, Lynn KD, Thorpe PE, and Schroit AJ. A novel "salting-out" procedure for the isolation of tumor-derived exosomes. J. Immunol. Methods 2014; 407:120-126. PMID: PMC4077054.
  • Aguilera K and Brekken RA. Recruitment and retention: Factors that affect pericyte migration. Cell and Molecular Life Sciences. 2014; 71:299-309. PMCID: PMC3880607.
  • Brekken RA. Faulty ECM signaling facilitates autoimmune lymphomagenesis. Cancer Discovery. 2014; 4: 25-26. PMID: 24402944.
  • Aguilera KY, Rivera LB, Hur H, Carbon JG, Toombs JE, Goldstein CG, Dellinger MT, Castrillon DH, and Brekken RA. Collagen signaling enhances tumor progression after anti-VEGF therapy in a murine model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Cancer Research 2014; 74:1-13. PMCID:  PMC3944405.


  • Stafford JH, Hao G, Best AM, Sun X, Thorpe PE. Highly specific PET imaging of prostate tumors in mice with an iodine-124-labeled antibody fragment that targets phosphatidylserine. PLoS ONE 2013; 8(12):e84864 PMCID: PMC3868598
  • Yin Y, Huang X, Lynn KD, Thorpe PE. Phosphatidylserine-targeting antibody induces M1 macrophage polarization and promotes myeloid-derived suppressor cell differentiation. Cancer Immunology Research 2013; 1: 256-268. PMID: 24777853.
  • Cenik BK, Ostapoff KT, Gerber DE, and Brekken RA. BIBF 1120 (Nintedanib), a triple angiokinase inhibitor, induces hypoxia but EMT and blocks progression of preclinical models of lung and pancreatic cancer. Mol. Can. Therapeutics 2013; 12:992-1001. PMCID: PMC3681897.
  • Ostapoff KT, Awasthi N, Cenik BK, Hinz S, Dredge KE, Schwarz RE, and Brekken RA. PG545, an angiogenesis and heparanase inhibitor, reduces primary tumor growth, EMT and metastasis in experimental pancreatic cancer. Mol. Can. Therapeutics 2013; 12:1190-1201 PMID: 23696215. (cover)
  • Dellinger MT, Meadows SM, Wynne K, Cleaver O, and Brekken RA. Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 promotes the development of the lymphatic vasculature. PLoS ONE 2013;8(9): e74686. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074686 PMCID: PMC3759473.
  • Huang X and Brekken RA. Revitalizing tumor immunity by targeting PS. Science & Technology, published Dec 2103


  • Arnold SA, Rivera LB, Carbon JG, Toombs JE, Chang CL, Roland CL, Kirane AK, Bradshaw AD, and Brekken RA. Inhibition of TGFβ1 with losartan is sufficient to curtail metastasis and extend survival of SPARC-null mice bearing pancreatic carcinoma. PLoS ONE 2012;7:e31384 PMCID: PMC3279359.
  • Kirane A, Toombs JE, Larsen JE, Ostapoff K, Meshaw KR, Zaknoen S, Brekken RA*, and Burrows FJ*. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition increases tumor sensitivity to COX-2 inhibition by apricoxib. Carcinogenesis 2012; 33:1639-1646. PMCID:PMC3514897. *corresponding authors,
  • Kirane A, Toombs JE, Ostapoff K, Carbon JG, Zaknoen S, Braunfeld J, Schwarz RE, Burrows FJ, and Brekken RA. Apricoxib, a novel inhibitor of COX-2, markedly improves standard therapy response in molecularly defined models of pancreatic cancer. Clin. Can. Res. 2012; 18: 5031-5042. PMCID:PMC3777527.
  • Lynn KD and Brekken RA. Anti-VEGF therapy revived by c-Met inhibition, but is c-Met the answer? Cancer Discovery 2012; 2:211-213. PMCID: PMC4512948.
  • Gerber DE, Gupta P, Dellinger MT, Toombs JE, Peyton M, Dunignan I, Malaby J, Bailey T, Burns C, Brekken RA, and Loizos N. Stromal platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα) provides a therapeutic target independent of tumor cell PDGFRα expression in lung cancer xenografts. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2012; 11:2473-2482. PMCID:PMC3495993.


  • Rivera LB and Brekken RA. SPARC promotes pericyte recruitment via inhibition of endoglin-dependent TGFβ1 activity. Journal of Cell Biology 2011; 193: 1305-1319. PMCID: PMC3216331.
  • Dellinger MT and Brekken RA. VEGF-A activation of VEGFR2 promotes lymphangiogenesis via the ERK1/2 and PI3-K/AKT signaling pathways. PLoS ONE 2011; 6:e29047 PMCID: PMC3236226.


  • Arnold SA, Rivera LB, Miller AF, Carbon JG, Dineen SP, Castrillon DH, Xie Y, Sage EH, Puolakkainen P, Bradshaw AD, and Brekken RA. Lack of host SPARC enhances vascular function and accelerates metastasis in an orthotopic murine model of pancreatic carcinoma. Disease Models and Mechanisms 2010; 3:57-72. PMCID: PMC2806901.
  • Schluterman MK, Chapman SL, Korpanty G, Ozumi K, Fukai T, Yanagisawa H, and Brekken RA. Loss of endogenous fibulin-5 inhibits pancreatic tumor growth by increasing the level of ROS in the tumor microenvironment. Disease Models and Mechanisms 2010; 3:333-342. PMCID: PMC2860852.
  • Dineen SP, Roland CL, Greer R, Carbon JG, Toombs JE, Gupta P, Bardeesy N, Sun H, Williams N, Minna JD, and Brekken RA. Smac mimetic increases chemotherapy response and improves survival in mice with pancreatic cancer. Cancer Research 2010; 70:2852-2861. PMCID: PMC2848888
  • Sullivan LA, Carbon JG, Roland CL, Toombs JE, Nyquist-Andersen M, Kavlie A, Schlunegger K, Richardson JA, and Brekken RA. r84, a novel therapeutic antibody against mouse and human VEGF with potent anti-tumor activity and limited toxicity induction. PLoS ONE 2010; 5(8). pii: e12031. PMCID: PMC2917360.
  • Lynn KD, Udugamasooriya DG, Roland CL, Castrillon DH, Kodadek TJ, and Brekken RA. GU81, a VEGFR2 antagonist peptoid, enhances the anti-tumor activity of doxorubicin in the murine MMTV-PyMT transgenic model of breast cancer. BMC Cancer 2010; 10:397. PMCID: PMC2920882


  • Bull-Phelps SL, Carbon JG, Miller AF, Castro-Rivera E, Arnold S, Miller DS, Brekken RA*, and Lea JS*. SPARC as a regulator of ovarian cancer growth and chemosensitivity. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2009; 200:180.e1-7 *co-corresponding authors.  PMCID: PMC3709016.
  • Dineen SP, Payton PA, Beck AW, Miller AF, Carbon JG, Mamluk R, Wong H, and Brekken RA. The Adnectin CT-322 is a novel VEGF receptor 2 inhibitor that decreases tumor burden in an orthotopic mouse model of pancreatic cancer. BMC Cancer 2008; 8:352. PMCID: PMC2627916.
  • Roland* CL, Dineen* SP, Lynn* KD, Sullivan LA, Dellinger MT, Sadegh L, Sullivan JP, Shames DS, and Brekken, RA. Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor reduces angiogenesis and modulates immune cell infiltration of orthotopic breast cancer xenografts. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2009; 8:1761-1771. PMID: 19567820.  * equal contribution
  • Roland CL, Lynn KD, Toombs JE, Dineen SP, Udugamasooriya DG, and Brekken RA. Cytokine levels correlate with immune cell infiltration after anti-VEGF therapy in preclinical models of breast cancer. PLoS ONE 2009; 4:e7669. PMCID: PMC2766251.


  • Dineen SP, Lynn KD, Holloway SE, Miller AF, Sullivan JP, Shames DS, Beck AW, Barnett CC, Fleming JB, and Brekken RA. Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 mediates macrophage infiltration into orthotopic pancreatic tumors in mice. Cancer Research 2008; 68:4340 – 4346. PMID: 18519694.
  • Arnold S, Mira E, Muneer S, Korpanty G, Beck AW, Holloway SE, Manes S, and Brekken RA. Forced expression of MMP9 rescues the loss of angiogenesis and abrogates metastasis of pancreatic tumors triggered by the absence of host SPARC. Experimental Biology and Medicine 2008; 23:860 – 873. *Best Basic Science Paper in 2008, SEBM  PMCID: PMC2459223.

More Publications

A complete list of Dr. Brekken's publications is available on PubMed.