Cisplatin associated ototoxicity: Considerations for the health care professional

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
CC BY 4.0
Cisplatin, the first platinum-based anti-tumour drug, is clinically proven for the treatment of cancers of soft tissue, bones, muscles, blood vessels and sarcomas. Known for its ability to cause apoptosis of cancer cells through changes in DNA structure, thus inhibiting DNA replication, transcription and cell division, this molecule has found its place, unabated, as a mainstream therapeutic for cancer treatment. However its ototoxic potential places cancer patients, exposed to this drug, at risk of hearing loss; thus, negatively affecting further their quality of life. Hence, the awareness of health care practitioners to the ototoxic properties of this drug and the clinical signs and symptoms to identify patients at risk of developing hearing loss is of vital importance. This chapter provides an overview of cisplatin-associated ototoxicity, namely its clinical features, incidence rates, molecular and cellular mechanisms and risk factors, to health care practitioners managing the patient with cancer and highlights the need for a multidisciplinary teambased approach to complement an audiological monitoring programme to mitigate any further loss in the quality of life of affected patients. Propositions for effective policy formulation, methodological approaches in research and strengthening of health systems in limited resource environments are advocated. In addition, recent developments in the management of cisplatin-associated ototoxic hearing loss together with currently available oto-protective strategies are presented.
Paken J, Govender CD, Pillay M, Ayele BT, Sewram V. (2019). Cisplatin associated ototoxicity: Considerations for the health care professional. (pp. 51-100).