Ototoxicity is a well-established toxicity associated with a subgroup of antineoplastic therapies that includes platinum chemotherapy, radiation or surgery involving the ear and auditory nerve, and supportive care agents such as aminoglycoside antibiotics and loop diuretics. The reported prevalence of ototoxicity in patients who have received potentially ototoxic therapy ranges from 4% to 90% depending on factors such as age of the patient population, agent(s) used, cumulative dose, and administration techniques. The impact of ototoxicity on subsequent health-related and psychosocial outcomes in these patients can be substantial, and the burden of morbidity related to ototoxic agents is particularly high in very young children. Considerable interindividual variability in the prevalence and severity of ototoxicity has been observed among patients receiving similar treatment, suggesting genetic susceptibility as a risk factor. The development and testing of otoprotective agents is ongoing; however, to the author's knowledge, no US Food and Drug Administration-approved otoprotectants are currently available. Prospective monitoring for ototoxicity allows for comparison of auditory outcomes across clinical trials, as well as for early detection, potential alterations in therapy, and auditory intervention and rehabilitation to ameliorate the adverse consequences of hearing loss. Cancer2016;122:1647-58. © 2016 American Cancer Society.
Ototoxicity is a serious consequence associated with several agents commonly used in contemporary cancer therapy, including platinum-based chemotherapy, radiation and surgery involving the ear, and supportive care drugs including aminoglycoside antibiotics and loop diuretics. Progress has been made toward the early identification of ototoxicity, and rehabilitative strategies are available to help ameliorate the associated adverse social and educational consequences.