Chad Brenner
Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
[email protected]

Available to mentor

Chad Brenner
Associate Professor
  • About
  • Center Memberships
  • Research Overview
  • Recent Publications
  • About

    Dr. Brenner is an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Department of Pharmacology. He is also a member of the U-M Rogel Cancer Center. His lab, the Michigan Otolaryngology and Translational Oncology lab (MiOTO), aims to identify new diagnostic tests and precision medicine therapies for cancer patients. More recently, Dr. Brenner has developed blood and urine-based liquid biopsy tests that are used to support the clinical management of head and neck cancer patients.

    In addition to receiving his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan, Brenner also received a master's in engineering in bioelectrical engineering and a doctorate in cellular and molecular biology for his seminal contributions to molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer progression and therapeutic inhibition of the disease.

    Center Memberships
    • Center Member
      Rogel Cancer Center
    • Center Member
      Kresge Hearing Research Institute
    Research Overview

    One goal of my research program is to advance therapeutic approaches that improve the overall survival of patients with head and neck cancers. As the catalog of molecular networks that drive cancer progression is being rapidly established by our lab and others, in order to advance new precision paradigms, we use genetic engineering and functional genomics approaches to understand cancer vulnerabilities associated with recurrent genetic networks.

    The second goal of my research program is to develop tools to rapidly adapt therapy for individual patients as a strategy to improve clinical outcomes. This line of research focuses on changing longstanding clinical paradigms to enable new adaptive intervention strategies. To do this, my team is working to develop real-time tumor monitoring approaches that leverage circulating biomarkers to detect and monitor cancer. We are focused on developing at-home urine-based tests capable of early detection of cancer, real time monitoring of response to therapy and early detection of recurrence.

    An additional goal of my research program is to discover combination strategies capable of improving the clinical responses to immunotherapy. While inhibition of immune checkpoint proteins has improved long term response and occasionally cured some head and neck patients, effective responses occur in only 15% of patients. The goal of this research project is to understand how precision-guided therapies can be used to modulate tumor-immune cell interactions and improve the responses of head and neck cancer patients to checkpoint blockade.

    Recent Publications See All Publications
    • Journal Article
      Circulating Tumor HPV DNA for Surveillance of HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Narrative Review.
      Lang Kuhs KA, Brenner JC, Holsinger FC, Rettig EM. JAMA Oncol, 2023 Dec 1; 9 (12): 1716 - 1724. DOI:10.1001/jamaoncol.2023.4042
      PMID: 37824111
    • Journal Article
      Multi-kinase compensation rescues EGFR knockout in a cell line model of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
      Ludwig ML, Michmerhuizen NL, Wang J, Birkeland AC, Majchrowski BK, Nimmagadda S, Zhai J, Bhangale A, Kulkarni A, Jiang H, Swiecicki PL, Brenner JC. Arch Oral Biol, 2023 Dec; 156: 105822 DOI:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2023.105822
      PMID: 37844343
    • Journal Article
      Genome-wide open reading frame profiling identifies fibroblast growth factor signaling as a driver of PD-L1 expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
      Mann JE, Smith JD, Kulkarni A, Foltin SK, Scheftz EB, Murray IR, Gensterblum-Miller E, Brummel CV, Bhangale A, Hoesli RC, Brenner JC. Oral Oncol, 2023 Nov; 146: 106562 DOI:10.1016/j.oraloncology.2023.106562
      PMID: 37666053
    • Presentation
      Advancing early detection strategies in HPV+ OPSCC
      Brenner C. 2023 Oct 11;
    • Journal Article
      Patterns of recurrence in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma to inform personalized surveillance protocols.
      Haring CT, Kana LA, Dermody SM, Brummel C, McHugh JB, Casper KA, Chinn SB, Malloy KM, Mierzwa M, Prince MEP, Rosko AJ, Shah J, Stucken CL, Shuman AG, Brenner JC, Spector ME, Worden FP, Swiecicki PL. Cancer, 2023 Sep 15; 129 (18): 2817 - 2827. DOI:10.1002/cncr.34823
      PMID: 37162461
    • Journal Article
      Initial Feasibility and Acute Toxicity Outcomes From a Phase 2 Trial of 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography Response-Based De-escalated Definitive Chemoradiotherapy for p16+ Oropharynx Cancer: A Planned Interim Analysis.
      Allen SG, Rosen BS, Aryal M, Cao Y, Schipper MJ, Wong KK, Casper KA, Chinn SB, Malloy KM, Prince ME, Rosko AJ, Shuman AG, Spector ME, Stucken CL, Swiecicki PL, Worden FP, Brenner JC, Schonewolf CA, Elliott DA, Mierzwa ML, Shah JL. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 2023 Sep 1; 117 (1): 171 - 180. DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.03.043
      PMID: 36931572
    • Journal Article
      Mutant HRas Signaling and Rationale for Use of Farnesyltransferase Inhibitors in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
      Wang J, Al-Majid D, Brenner JC, Smith JD. Target Oncol, 2023 Sep; 18 (5): 643 - 655. DOI:10.1007/s11523-023-00993-3
      PMID: 37665491
    • Journal Article
      Prognosis to Radiation Unlocked: How Hypoxia Methylome May Hold the Key in HNSCC.
      Heft Neal ME, Brenner JC. Clin Cancer Res, 2023 Aug 15; 29 (16): 2954 - 2956. DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-23-1132
      PMID: 37310809