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Presentations, Scientific Publications | 26 Jun 2018

JAMA: Fruquintinib vs Placebo in Previously Treated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Effect of Fruquintinib vs Placebo on Overall Survival in Patients With Previously Treated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

The FRESCO Randomized Clinical Trial

Jin Li; Shukui Qin; Rui-Hua Xu; Lin Shen; Jianming Xu; Yuxian Bai; Lei Yang; Yanhong Deng; Zhen-dong Chen; Haijun Zhong; Hongming Pan; Weijian Guo; Yongqian Shu; Ying Yuan; Jianfeng Zhou; Nong Xu; Tianshu Liu; Dong Ma; Changping Wu; Ying Cheng; Donghui Chen; Wei Li; Sanyuan Sun; Zhuang Yu; Peiguo Cao; Haihui Chen; Jiejun Wang; Shubin Wang; Hongbing Wang; Songhua Fan; Ye Hua; Weiguo Su




Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) have limited effective and tolerable treatment options.


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral fruquintinib, a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitor, as third-line or later therapy in patients with metastatic CRC.

Design, Setting, and Participants

FRESCO (Fruquintinib Efficacy and Safety in 3+ Line Colorectal Cancer Patients) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter (28 hospitals in China), phase 3 clinical trial. From December 2014 to May 2016, screening took place among 519 patients aged 18 to 75 years who had metastatic CRC that progressed after at least 2 lines of chemotherapy but had not received VEGFR inhibitor therapy; 416 met the eligibility criteria and were stratified by prior anti-VEGF therapy and K-ras status. The final date of follow-up was January 17, 2017.


Patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive either fruquintinib, 5 mg (n = 278) or placebo (n = 138) orally, once daily for 21 days, followed by 7 days off in 28-day cycles, until disease progression, intolerable toxicity, or study withdrawal.

Main Outcomes and Measures

The primary end point was overall survival. Key secondary efficacy endpoints were progression-free survival (time from randomization to disease progression or death), objectiveresponse rate (confirmed complete or partial response), and disease control rate (complete or partial response, or stabledisease recorded ≥8 weeks postrandomization). Duration of response was also assessed. Safety outcomes included treatment-emergent adverse events.


Of the 416 randomized patients (mean age, 54.6 years; 161 [38.7%] women), 404 (97.1%) completed the trial. Median overall survival was significantly prolonged with fruquintinib compared with placebo (9.3 months [95% CI, 8.2-10.5] vs 6.6 months [95% CI, 5.9-8.1]); hazard ratio (HR) for death, 0.65 (95% CI, 0.51-0.83; P < .001). Median progression-free survival was also significantly increased with fruquintinib (3.7 months [95% CI, 3.7-4.6] vs 1.8 months [95% CI, 1.8-1.8] months); HR for progression or death, 0.26 (95% CI, 0.21 to 0.34; P < .001). Grades 3 and 4 treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 61.2% (170) of patients who received fruquintinib and 19.7% (27) who received placebo. Serious adverse events were reported by 15.5% (43) of patients in the fruquintinib group and 5.8% (8) in the placebo group, with 14.4% (40) of fruquintinib-treated and 5.1% (7) of placebo-treated patients requiring hospitalization.

Conclusions and Relevance

Among Chinese patients with metastatic CRC who had tumor progression following at least 2 prior chemotherapy regimens, oral fruquintinib compared with placebo resulted in a statistically significant increase in overall survival. Further research is needed to assess efficacy outside of China.

Trial Registration Identifier: NCT02314819


Citations and Links

Please follow the link below to access the publication:

JAMA. 2018;319(24):2486-2496.

DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.7855