Lurbinectedin in addition to doxorubicin for small-cell lung cancer after prior platinum-containing therapy

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Therapeutic Areas: Lung and Respiratory Cancer
Year: 2020

Lurbinectedin in addition to doxorubicin is in clinical development for the treatment of adults with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) who have progressed after prior platinum-containing therapy. SCLC is an aggressive type of lung cancer that is associated with smoking. The condition is often diagnosed at a late stage, when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (extensive-stage). If patients are fit enough, they may be given chemotherapy as first-line treatment, although the cancer will usually return quickly.
Lurbinectedin is expected to work by breaking down an enzyme called ‘RNA polymerase II’, which plays a key role in the production of proteins that are needed for the cell to grow and multiply. Small cell lung cancer cells have high levels of these proteins, which make the cells grow uncontrollably. By breaking down RNA polymerase II, lurbinectedin reduces production of these growth-related proteins and so reduces the growth of the cancer. If licensed, this combination could be an effective treatment option for a patient group with clear unmet need.