The Brekken laboratory is part of the Division of Surgical Oncology and located in the Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research on the 8th floor of the Simmons Biomedical Research Building (NB) on the North campus of UT Southwestern. The broad interest of the lab is to study the microenvironment of tumors with a particular emphasis on extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and remodeling, regulation and manipulation of tumor angiogenesis, and the testing of novel therapy.
To study the tumor microenvironment we use models of pancreatic, breast and lung cancer. Pancreatic cancer is particularly well-suited for evaluation of ECM deposition and remodeling as it is a highly desmoplastic disease. Breast cancer is also well suited for these studies and has been used frequently by investigators to study cell trafficking and angiogenesis. Lung cancer is a strength of the Hamon Center and we have utilized these resources to study pathways associated with therapy resistance.