Targeting FAK in anti-cancer combination therapies

John C Dawson, Alan Serrels, Dwayne G Stupack, David D Schlaepfer, Margaret C Frame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is both a non-receptor tyrosine kinase and an adaptor protein that primarily regulates adhesion signalling and cell migration, but FAK can also promote cell survival in response to stress. FAK is commonly overexpressed in cancer and is considered a high-value druggable target, with multiple FAK inhibitors currently in development. Evidence suggests that in the clinical setting, FAK targeting will be most effective in combination with other agents, so as to reverse failure of chemotherapies or targeted therapies and enhance efficacy of immune-based treatments of solid tumours. Here we discuss the recent pre-clinical evidence that implicates FAK in anti-cancer therapeutic resistance, leading to the view that FAK inhibitors will have their greatest utility as combination therapies in selected patient populations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Reviews Cancer
Early online date17 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2021


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