The protein focal adhesion kinase, or FAK, is already recognized a key factor in helping tumors spread, but Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have made another discovery surrounding this protein. Reported in UC San Diego Health, FAK has been found to also enhance the cancer’s ability to survive chemotherapy.
While less and less women are being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, there are still major obstacles for those with advanced serous ovarian carcinoma. Recurrence, drug resistance, and mortality remain high. FAK amplifies these challenges as it “supports DNA repair in the most important stem-like cells of the tumor,” says David D. Schlaepfer, PhD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center researcher and co-principal investigator. As a result, tumors are more resistant to platinum chemotherapy, the current standard of care for ovarian cancer.
Research of an FAK inhibitor is underway at UC San Diego Health in their ROCKIF Trial and is showing promise in the initial testing on mice. They are using gene editing to delete the FAK gene.
Call to Action: Would you like to stay updated on this clinical trial? We include contact information for co-principal investigators, Dwayne G Stupack and David D Schlaepfer. You can also use TrialSite’s Network Matching Service to find relevant clinical trials.