Childhood cancer survival rates are now nearly 80% in more developed European countries because of improved therapies and better supportive care. Platinum chemotherapy drugs, such as cisplatin and carboplatin, are the cornerstone of many effective therapeutic protocols for childhood cancer. However, the antitumor efficacy of cisplatin and carboplatin comes at the cost of ototoxicity, which affects at least 60% of pediatric patients. Although ototoxicity is not life threatening, it can have debilitating effects on patients' quality of life. Recently, many initiatives have been launched with the ultimate goal of reducing cisplatin and high-dose carboplatin ototoxicity without compromising antitumor efficacy. This review addresses the incidence of platinum ototoxicity and its clinical presentation, time course, and early diagnostic evaluation. Genetic and non-genetic risk factors for platinum-associated ototoxicity, and their predictive value, are discussed. Recent developments in the prevention of platinum ototoxicity are also summarized.
Keywords: adverse effects; high frequency audiometry; organoplatinum compounds; pharmacogenetics; prevention; risk factors.
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