Subgroup analysis by prior anti-VEGF or anti-EGFR target therapy in FRESCO, a randomized, double-blind, Phase III trial

Future Oncol. 2021 Apr;17(11):1339-1350. doi: 10.2217/fon-2020-0875. Epub 2020 Dec 16.


Background: FRESCO study demonstrated efficacy and safety of fruquintinib in metastatic colorectal cancer patients. Impact of prior targeted therapy (PTT) on efficacy and safety of fruquintinib was evaluated. Materials & methods: In this subgroup analysis of FRESCO trial, patients were divided into PTT and non-PTT subgroups, and efficacy and safety of fruquintinib were assessed, respectively. Results: In non-PTT subgroup, fruquintinib significantly prolonged overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) of patients compared with placebo. In PTT subgroup, the median OS and PFS of patients in fruquintinib arm was significantly higher than those in placebo. Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) rates were similar in both subgroups. Conclusion: Fruquintinib demonstrated clinically meaningful improvement in OS, PFS, objective response rate, and disease control rate with manageable TEAEs in both subgroups. Clinical trial registration: NCT02314819 (

Keywords: VEGF receptor inhibitors; anti-epidermal growth factor receptor; anti-vascular endothelial growth factor; fruquintinib; metastatic colorectal cancer; targeted therapy.

Plain Language Summary

Lay abstract In this analysis of the FRESCO trial, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of fruquintinib in two different groups of patients (subgroups) with metastatic colorectal cancer - patients who received prior targeted therapy (PTT) and patients who did not (non-PTT). Of the 278 patients treated with fruquintinib, 111 patients received PTT. Patients treated with fruquintinib had longer overall survival and it took longer for their disease to worsen in both PTT and non-PTT subgroups compared with placebo. Patients in both subgroups treated with fruquintinib showed measurable reduction in their tumor size and disease control with similar side effects in patients of both the subgroups. These results suggest that fruquintinib is safe and effective in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in both subgroups.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Benzofurans / therapeutic use*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Benzofurans
  • HMPL-013
  • Quinazolines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor

Associated data