Cancer cells have the ability to “switch on” aggressive behaviour and it is thought that this enables them to grow into tumours and metastasise. An important contributor to this switch is a protein called Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK). In this study, sponsored by GSK, patients with advanced cancer are treated with a targeted inhibitor of FAK. It is given in capsule form and has a more favourable side effect profile than conventional chemotherapy. The study will evaluate how safe this drug is, and is being conducted at ICHNT and 8 other centres in the UK and around the world. So far, 6 patients have tried the drug in the CRF of which 3 have had tumour stabilisation. For example, one of our patients has been on the FAK inhibitor for 6 months and has been able to continue her work as an artist without the difficult side effects she would have experienced had she been receiving chemotherapy.
PI: Dr Sarah Blagden