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PLoS One. 2016 Sep 16;11(9):e0162666. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162666. eCollection 2016.

Prognostic Value of Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) in Human Solid Carcinomas: A Meta-Analysis.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Endoscopy Center and Endoscopy Research Institute, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Biostatistics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Evidence-based Medicine Center, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



Recently, the number of reports on focal adhesion kinase (FAK) as a vital therapeutic target in solid carcinomas has increased; however, the prognostic role of FAK status remains poorly understood. This study aims to evaluate the prognostic effect of FAK by means of a meta-analysis.


We performed a systematic literature search in order to examine the correlation between expression of FAK and overall survival(OS). The hazard ratio (HR) of OS was used to measure survival. A random-effects model was used to pool study statistics. Sensitivity and publication bias analyses were also conducted.


Thirty eligible studies involving 4702 patients were included. The median expression rate of FAK was 54%. Meta-analysis of the HRs demonstrated that high FAK expression was associated with worse OS (average HR = 2.073, 95%confidence interval[CI]:1.712-2.510, p = 0.000). Regarding cancer type, FAK was associated with worse OS in gastric cancer (HR = 2.646,95% CI:1.743-4.017, p = 0.000), hepatocellular carcinoma (HR = 1.788,95% CI:1.228-2.602, p = 0.002), ovarian cancer (HR = 1.815, 95% CI: 1.193-2.762, p = 0.005), endometrial cancer (HR = 4.149, 95% CI:2.832-6.079, p = 0.000), gliomas (HR = 2.650, 95% CI: 1.205-5.829, p = 0.015), and squamous cell carcinoma (HR = 1,696, 95% CI: 1.030-2.793, p = 0.038). No association was found between HR and disease staging according to our meta-regression analysis.


Our study shows that high expression of FAK is associated with a worse OS in patients with carcinomas, but the association between FAK and prognosis varies according to cancer type. The value of FAK status in clinical prognosis in cancer needs further research.

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