Study Shows Cisplatin Can Cause Permanent Hearing Loss That Can Worsen Even After Treatment Is Complete

July 8, 2024
A common drug used in chemotherapy treatments, cisplatin can unintentionally take aim at the ears during treatment. Researchers stress that routine hearing assessments can help.

A new study led by researchers at the University of South Florida and Indiana University has shown that many cancer patients who receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy experience “significant difficulties in everyday listening situations.” USF's website has the release.

Cisplatin, which is commonly used in chemotherapy treatments, is administered intravenously and affects various parts of the body. The ears are “particularly vulnerable as they have little ability to filter out the drug,” which can lead to inflammation and the destruction of sensory cells “that are critical for coding sound, causing permanent hearing loss that can progressively get worse well after cisplatin treatments are completed.”

Lead author Victoria Sanchez emphasizes that, despite these risks being known, there is still a “nationwide lack of routine hearing assessments for patients undergoing chemotherapy.”

The study revealed that higher doses of cisplatin were associated with “more severe and progressing hearing loss, especially in patients with risk factors, such as high blood pressure and poor cardiovascular health.” The researchers hope that this study will “inspire further investigation into alternative chemotherapeutic protocols and preventive measures.”

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.