Hepatoblastoma, cisplatin, and ototoxicity

Good news on deaf ears


  • Michael J. Sullivan MB, ChB, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Children's Cancer Research Group, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand
    • Children's Cancer Research Group Pediatrics, University of Otago, Christchurch, 2 Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch 80001 New Zealand===

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  • See referenced original article on pages 5828-35, this issue.


Young infants with hepatoblastoma now have an excellent chance of cure, but many will be left with significant cisplatin-related hearing loss, which may impair their language and social development and may affect later learning with a lifetime of hearing loss. A report from the Children's Oncology Group of a randomized trial of amifostine for the prevention of platinum-related toxicity in infants with hepatoblastoma demonstrated that amifostine has no benefit in reducing cisplatin ototoxicity. Several new agents, such as sodium thiosulfate, currently are entering clinical trials as otoprotectants; however, as the goal for some childhood malignancies shifts from disease cure to enhancing the quality of long-term survival, there is a need to ensure that the design and conduct of cancer-control trials are as rigorous as those directed toward curing disease.