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Hearing Checks Recommended for Childhood Cancer Survivors

Report spells out ototoxic risks of platinum-based chemotherapy and radiotherapy

MONDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children who survive cancer treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy or radiotherapy should be regularly evaluated for hearing loss as part of their long-term follow-up, according to a report published online March 1 in Pediatrics.

Satkiran Grewal, M.D., of the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., and colleagues report on the work of the Auditory/Hearing Late Effects Task Force of the Children's Oncology Group to review the toxic effects of platinum compounds and radiation on hearing in pediatric patients, and offer recommendations on the evaluation and management of patients.

The report details the potentially ototoxic effects of cisplatin and carboplatin, as well as radiation therapy, and recommends yearly, risk-based screening for cancer-related complications of all childhood cancer survivors including a comprehensive audiological evaluation of those at risk of hearing loss.

"Pediatric cancer survivors who develop ototoxicity from platinum compounds and/or radiation are at risk for late effects that may affect the entire auditory apparatus. They may experience impairments in learning, communication, school performance, social interaction, and overall health-related quality of life, and survivors who are exposed to potentially ototoxic agents require careful monitoring and adaptations," the authors write. "Whereas no confirmed benefit has yet been established for pharmacologic agents developed to prevent or reduce ototoxicity in children, avoidance of excessively loud noise and ototoxic medications, such as aminoglycoside antibiotics and diuretics, is recommended."

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