New approach to prevent cisplatin-induced hearing loss in children and adolescents with cancer


cisplatin-induced hearing loss prevention

A group of oncology clinicians from a number of pediatric oncology departments in North America has reported that sodium thiosulfate prevents cisplatin-induced hearing loss.

Cisplatin is a chemotherapy agent that is effective in the treatment of a variety of cancer types in both adults and children, but it often causes permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. A significant improvement in cancer treatment with this drug would be a method to reduce or prevent this adverse effect. The oncology researchers therefore carried out a randomized, controlled, phase 3 study, called ACCL0431, and their results were published recently in the Lancet Oncology.

“This federally-funded, cooperative group study is the first to show that cisplatin-induced hearing loss can be reduced by about half in children and adolescents being treated for cancer,” said David R. Freyer, DO, MS, Director of the Survivorship and Supportive Care Program at the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, CA. Freyer is lead author for the study. “It is an important step toward developing a safe and effective strategy that will greatly improve quality of life for cancer survivors.”

In the study, 125 eligible participants aged 1 to 18 years with newly-diagnosed cancer were enrolled over a 4-year period. They were randomized to sodium thiosulfate or observation (control group) during their chemotherapy treatment. The findings showed a significant reduction in the incidence of hearing loss in participants treated with cisplatin and sodium thiosulfate (29%) versus those who received cisplatin alone (56%).

Source: Freyer DR, et al. Effects of sodium thiosulfate versus observation on development of cisplatin-induced hearing loss in children with cancer (ACCL0431): a multicentre, randomised, controlled, open-label, phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncology. 2016 Nov 30; Business Wire