Cisplatin Build-Up in Inner Ear Associated With Hearing Loss The cancer-fighting drug cisplatin may contribute to hearing loss because—unlike other parts of the body—the inner ear appears unable to eliminate the drug quickly, especially in children, according to recent research at the National Institutes of Health. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of cancer patients take cisplatin (and other ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   March 01, 2018
Cisplatin Build-Up in Inner Ear Associated With Hearing Loss
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Hearing Disorders / Balance & Balance Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   March 01, 2018
Cisplatin Build-Up in Inner Ear Associated With Hearing Loss
The ASHA Leader, March 2018, Vol. 23, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.23032018.12
The ASHA Leader, March 2018, Vol. 23, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.23032018.12
The cancer-fighting drug cisplatin may contribute to hearing loss because—unlike other parts of the body—the inner ear appears unable to eliminate the drug quickly, especially in children, according to recent research at the National Institutes of Health.
An estimated 10 to 20 percent of cancer patients take cisplatin (and other platinum-based drugs). The drugs are associated with permanent hearing loss in 40 to 80 percent of adult patients and at least half of children who receive the drug. The findings help explain why cisplatin is so toxic to the inner ear, and why hearing loss gets worse after each treatment, can occur long after treatment, and is more severe in children than adults.
In most areas of the body, cisplatin is eliminated within days or weeks after treatment, but the drug remains much longer in the inner ear. The research team explored a new hypothesis: that the inner ear is not able to get rid of cisplatin, and cells important for hearing die because of extended exposure to the drug. They found that in mice, cisplatin remained in the inner ear—especially in the stria vascularis, which helps maintain the positive electrical charge in inner ear fluid that certain cells need to detect sound—much longer than in most other body tissues. It built up with each successive treatment, and was retained in the inner ear many months or years after treatment.
The findings suggest that if cisplatin could be prevented from entering the stria vascularis during treatment, it may be possible to protect cancer patients from developing cisplatin-induced hearing loss, the researchers say.
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March 2018
Volume 23, Issue 3