Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic agent that is widely used to treat a variety of malignant tumors. Serious dose-limiting side effects like ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity occur with the use of this agent. This review summarizes recent important clinical and experimental investigations of cisplatin ototoxicity. It also discusses the utility of protective agents employed in patients and in experimental animals. The future strategies for limiting cisplatin ototoxicity will need to avoid interference with the therapeutic effect of cisplatin in order to enhance the quality of life of patients receiving this important anti-tumor agent.