Safety Profile and Adverse Events of Special Interest for Fruquintinib in Chinese Patients with Previously Treated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Analysis of the Phase 3 FRESCO Trial

Adv Ther. 2020 Nov;37(11):4585-4598. doi: 10.1007/s12325-020-01477-w. Epub 2020 Sep 8.


Introduction: In FRESCO (Fruquintinib Efficacy and Safety in 3+ Line Colorectal Cancer Patients) trial, fruquintinib demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful overall survival benefit in Chinese patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). However, its safety profile, including adverse events of special interest (AESIs) and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) by age, sex, and body mass index (BMI), is not well known. The present analysis evaluated the safety profile and AESIs for fruquintinib in the FRESCO trial.

Methods: In FRESCO, eligible Chinese patients were randomized (2:1) to receive fruquintinib (5 mg once daily for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week off in 28-day cycles) or placebo plus best supportive care. Treatment-related AESIs and time to first occurrence of AESIs were summarized. Treatment-related TEAEs by age, sex, and BMI were also summarized.

Results: A total of 266 patients (95.7%) in the fruquintinib group and 97 (70.8%) in the placebo group had at least one treatment-related TEAE; the mean relative dose intensity was 92% and 98%, respectively. In the fruquintinib group, the most common (in > 40% of patients) treatment-related AESIs were hypertension (55.4%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome [known as hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR)] (49.3%), and proteinuria (42.1%). The most common treatment-related grade ≥ 3 AESIs (≥ 3% of patients) were hypertension (21.2%), HFSR (10.8%), and proteinuria (3.2%); the median time to onset of these events was 10, 21, and 20 days, respectively. Subgroup analysis by age, sex, and BMI revealed that the frequencies of treatment-related TEAEs were similar across all subgroups, and were consistent with the overall safety profile of fruquintinib.

Conclusions: The most common treatment-related grade ≥ 3 AEs were hypertension, HFSR, and proteinuria. The treatment-related TEAE profile of fruquintinib in Chinese patents with mCRC was comparable among different subgroups and consistent with that reported in the overall population.

Trial registration: Clinical Trials identifier NCT02314819.

Keywords: Adverse events of special interest; Chinese patients; FRESCO trial; Fruquintinib; Metastatic colorectal cancer; Safety profile.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzofurans*
  • China
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Quinazolines


  • Benzofurans
  • Quinazolines
  • HMPL-013

Associated data