University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
V. Courtney Broaddus, MD

V. Courtney Broaddus, MD

Professor, Department of Medicine; Associate Director, Lung Biology Center, UCSF
John F. Murray, MD Distinguished Professorship in Pulmonary Medicine, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Affiliate Member

Research Summary

After an early career investigating the biology of the pleural mesothelial cell, I have worked for the last 10 years to understand the mechanisms of the chemoresistance of the pleural tumor, mesothelioma. In tackling this question, I have pursued innovative models, mainly 3D in vitro and ex vivo mesothelioma models, and shown how they provide clinically relevant insights into mesothelioma chemoresistance. I have established valuable collaborations with mesothelioma surgeon Dr. Raphael Bueno and his colleague Dr. Bill Richards, providing access to fresh tumor tissue, tissue microarrays and extensive clinical outcome data. After multiple studies on apoptotic signaling in mesothelioma, Dr. Barbone and I realized that many of our findings were more consistent with a role for autophagy, a recycling mechanism involved in cell death and survival. After recruiting Dr. Carlo Follo to my lab, we pursued the subject of autophagy with increasing excitement. It has become clear that autophagy in mesothelioma is best studied in 3D, that both mesothelioma cell lines in 3D and mesothelioma tumors can be divided into those that have either an active autophagy or have little autophagy at baseline, and that a marker of autophagy initiation correlates with survival in patients with mesothelioma and is independent of other known prognostic factors, including histology. With these tools, collaborations, dedication, and experience, I will carry out this research plan into the role of autophagy in mesothelioma, with hopes for finding new insights into mesothelioma biology and therapeutic vulnerability.


Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1975, Zoology
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, M.D., 1979, Medicine
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Intern and Resident, 1979-82, Internal Medicine
University of California San Francisco, CA, Fellow, 1983-84, Pulmonary Disease

Professional Experience

  • 1986-88
    Instructor in Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 1988-1995
    Assistant Professor in Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 1991-present
    Member, Lung Biology Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 1995-2001
    Associate Professor in Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 1998-present
    Chief, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 2001-present
    Professor in Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 2001-2002
    Visiting Scientist, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Gerard Evan's Laboratory
  • 2004-present
    Associate Director, Lung Biology Center, Univ. of Calif., San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1978
    Alpha Omega Alpha, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1979
    Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Award and Citation for Outstanding Female Medical Student
  • 1987-1992
    Clinical Investigator Award, NHLBI
  • 1988
    American Physiological Society (elected)
  • 1991
    Associate, Scientific Staff, Cardiovascular Research Institute, UCSF (elected)
  • 1991
    Distinction in Teaching Award, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 1992
    Pretenure Award, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 1998-2001
    UC Tobacco Related Disease Program Award for "Programmed Cell Death in Cigarette- Induced Lung Disease"
  • 1999-2002
    President, International Mesothelioma Interest Group
  • 2010
    Pioneer Award, The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
  • 2012
    Inaugural Recipient, John F. Murray Distinguished Professorship
  • 2016
    Wagner Medal, International Mesothelioma Interest Group

Selected Publications

  1. Follo C, Cheng Y, Richards WG, Bueno R, Broaddus VC. Autophagy facilitates the release of immunogenic signals following chemotherapy in 3D models of mesothelioma. Mol Carcinog. 2019 Jun 19.
    View on PubMed
  2. Follo C, Cheng Y, Richards WG, Bueno R, Broaddus VC. Inhibition of autophagy initiation potentiates chemosensitivity in mesothelioma. Mol Carcinog. 2018 03; 57(3):319-332.
    View on PubMed
  3. Follo C, Barbone D, Richards WG, Bueno R, Broaddus VC. Autophagy initiation correlates with the autophagic flux in 3D models of mesothelioma and with patient outcome. Autophagy. 2016 07 02; 12(7):1180-94.
    View on PubMed
  4. Barbone D, Van Dam L, Follo C, Jithesh PV, Zhang SD, Richards WG, Bueno R, Fennell DA, Broaddus VC. Analysis of Gene Expression in 3D Spheroids Highlights a Survival Role for ASS1 in Mesothelioma. PLoS One. 2016; 11(3):e0150044.
    View on PubMed
  5. Weinstock T, Kidambi P, Channick CL, Michaud GC, Broaddus C, Makani SS, Wiener RS, Wilson KC, Thomson CC. Implementation of Lung Cancer Screening Programs with Low-Dose Computed Tomography in Clinical Practice. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016 Mar; 13(3):425-7.
    View on PubMed
  6. Barbone D, Follo C, Echeverry N, Gerbaudo VH, Klabatsa A, Bueno R, Felley-Bosco E, Broaddus VC. Autophagy Correlates with the Therapeutic Responsiveness of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in 3D Models. PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0134825.
    View on PubMed
  7. Broaddus VC, Grippi MA. Medical Subspecialty Textbooks in the 21st Century. Essential or Headed for Extinction? Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015 Aug; 12(8):1113-5.
    View on PubMed
  8. Acencio MM, Soares B, Marchi E, Silva CS, Teixeira LR, Broaddus VC. Inflammatory Cytokines Contribute to Asbestos-Induced Injury of Mesothelial Cells. Lung. 2015 Oct; 193(5):831-7.
    View on PubMed
  9. Echeverry N, Ziltener G, Barbone D, Weder W, Stahel RA, Broaddus VC, Felley-Bosco E. Inhibition of autophagy sensitizes malignant pleural mesothelioma cells to dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors. Cell Death Dis. 2015 May 07; 6:e1757.
    View on PubMed
  10. Busacca S, Chacko AD, Klabatsa A, Arthur K, Sheaff M, Barbone D, Mutti L, Gunasekharan VK, Gorski JJ, El-Tanani M, Broaddus VC, Gaudino G, Fennell DA. BAK and NOXA are critical determinants of mitochondrial apoptosis induced by bortezomib in mesothelioma. PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e65489.
    View on PubMed
  11. Barbone D, Cheung P, Battula S, Busacca S, Gray SG, Longley DB, Bueno R, Sugarbaker DJ, Fennell DA, Broaddus VC. Vorinostat eliminates multicellular resistance of mesothelioma 3D spheroids via restoration of Noxa expression. PLoS One. 2012; 7(12):e52753.
    View on PubMed
  12. Lee HK, Park GB, Kim YS, Song H, Broaddus VC, Hur DY. Ligation of CM1 enhances apoptosis of lung cancer cells through different mechanisms in conformity with EGFR mutation. Int J Oncol. 2013 Feb; 42(2):469-77.
    View on PubMed
  13. Hurwitz JL, Stasik I, Kerr EM, Holohan C, Redmond KM, McLaughlin KM, Busacca S, Barbone D, Broaddus VC, Gray SG, O'Byrne KJ, Johnston PG, Fennell DA, Longley DB. Vorinostat/SAHA-induced apoptosis in malignant mesothelioma is FLIP/caspase 8-dependent and HR23B-independent. Eur J Cancer. 2012 May; 48(7):1096-107.
    View on PubMed
  14. Phung YT, Barbone D, Broaddus VC, Ho M. Rapid generation of in vitro multicellular spheroids for the study of monoclonal antibody therapy. J Cancer. 2011; 2:507-14.
    View on PubMed
  15. Barbone D, Ryan JA, Kolhatkar N, Chacko AD, Jablons DM, Sugarbaker DJ, Bueno R, Letai AG, Coussens LM, Fennell DA, Broaddus VC. The Bcl-2 repertoire of mesothelioma spheroids underlies acquired apoptotic multicellular resistance. Cell Death Dis. 2011 Jun 23; 2:e174.
    View on PubMed
  16. Iyer AK, Lan X, Zhu X, Su Y, Feng J, Zhang X, Gao D, Seo Y, Vanbrocklin HF, Broaddus VC, Liu B, He J. Novel human single chain antibody fragments that are rapidly internalizing effectively target epithelioid and sarcomatoid mesotheliomas. Cancer Res. 2011 Apr 01; 71(7):2428-32.
    View on PubMed
  17. Xiang X, Phung Y, Feng M, Nagashima K, Zhang J, Broaddus VC, Hassan R, Fitzgerald D, Ho M. The development and characterization of a human mesothelioma in vitro 3D model to investigate immunotoxin therapy. PLoS One. 2011 Jan 31; 6(1):e14640.
    View on PubMed
  18. Broaddus VC, Everitt JI, Black B, Kane AB. Non-neoplastic and neoplastic pleural endpoints following fiber exposure. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2011; 14(1-4):153-78.
    View on PubMed
  19. Bidlingmaier S, He J, Wang Y, An F, Feng J, Barbone D, Gao D, Franc B, Broaddus VC, Liu B. Identification of MCAM/CD146 as the target antigen of a human monoclonal antibody that recognizes both epithelioid and sarcomatoid types of mesothelioma. Cancer Res. 2009 Feb 15; 69(4):1570-7.
    View on PubMed
  20. Yang TM, Barbone D, Fennell DA, Broaddus VC. Bcl-2 family proteins contribute to apoptotic resistance in lung cancer multicellular spheroids. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2009 Jul; 41(1):14-23.
    View on PubMed

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