It is twenty years since Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) was found to be overexpressed in many types of human cancer. FAK plays an important role in adhesion, spreading, motility, invasion, metastasis, survival, angiogenesis, and recently has been found to play an important role as well in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), cancer stem cells and tumor microenvironment. FAK has kinase-dependent and kinase independent scaffolding, cytoplasmic and nuclear functions. Several years ago FAK was proposed as a potential therapeutic target; the first clinical trials were just reported, and they supported further studies of FAK as a promising therapeutic target.
Golubovskaya VM. Targeting FAK in human cancer: from finding to first clinical trials. Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition). 2014;19:687-706.