Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a rapidly progressive, aggressive metastatic and lethal subtype of lung cancer. Unfortunately, there has been little progress regarding the development of novel treatments for SCLC. However, lurbinectedin, a transcriptional inhibitor, has emerged as a potential novel treatment for cancer. It produces antitumor efficacy by inhibiting oncogenic transcription activity, inducing the accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks and modulating the tumor microenvironment (TME). Data from phase I/II trials indicates that lurbinectedin has significant antitumor efficacy and tolerable adverse effects in SCLC patients. Furthermore, lurbinectedin is efficacious in platinum-sensitive and platinum-resistant SCLC patients and in those with SCLC relapse after second-line treatment. In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved lurbinectedin for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic SCLC or for patients that have received platinum-based chemotherapy. In this review, we discuss the molecular profile and the preclinical and clinical studies of lurbinectedin in the treatment of SCLC patients.
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