Futibatinib, an Irreversible FGFR1-4 Inhibitor for the Treatment of FGFR-Aberrant Tumors

Oncologist. 2023 Nov 2;28(11):928-943. doi: 10.1093/oncolo/oyad149.


Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR) are emerging as an important therapeutic target for patients with advanced, refractory cancers. Most selective FGFR inhibitors under investigation show reversible binding, and their activity is limited by acquired drug resistance. This review summarizes the preclinical and clinical development of futibatinib, an irreversible FGFR1-4 inhibitor. Futibatinib stands out among FGFR inhibitors because of its covalent binding mechanism and low susceptibility to acquired resistance. Preclinical data indicated robust activity of futibatinib against acquired resistance mutations in the FGFR kinase domain. In early-phase studies, futibatinib showed activity in cholangiocarcinoma, and gastric, urothelial, breast, central nervous system, and head and neck cancers harboring various FGFR aberrations. Exploratory analyses indicated clinical benefit with futibatinib after prior FGFR inhibitor use. In a pivotal phase II trial, futibatinib demonstrated durable objective responses (42% objective response rate) and tolerability in previously treated patients with advanced intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma harboring FGFR2 fusions or rearrangements. A manageable safety profile was observed across studies, and patient quality of life was maintained with futibatinib treatment in patients with cholangiocarcinoma. Hyperphosphatemia, the most common adverse event with futibatinib, was well managed and did not lead to treatment discontinuation. These data show clinically meaningful benefit with futibatinib in FGFR2-rearrangement-positive cholangiocarcinoma and provide support for further investigation of futibatinib across other indications. Future directions for this agent include elucidating mechanisms of resistance and exploration of combination therapy approaches.

Keywords: FGFR inhibitor; cholangiocarcinoma; clinical trials; fibroblast growth factor receptor; futibatinib; safety.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic / pathology
  • Cholangiocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Quality of Life
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1


  • futibatinib
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • FGFR1 protein, human
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1

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