Objective: There is a need for otoprotective agents that can be administered systemically without compromising cancer treatment. Histone deacetylase inhibitors are anticancer agents that act by upregulating the expression of cell-cycle control genes. They are also neuroprotective, leading us to hypothesize that they might be otoprotective. The goal of this study was to determine if the antitumor agent sodium butyrate (a histone deacetylase inhibitor) protects against cisplatin ototoxicity when administered systemically.
Study Design: This was an animal study.
Methods: Cisplatin was administered to guinea pigs who received either 12 days of sodium butyrate (7 d before and 5 d after cisplatin) or equivolume saline injections. Hearing was tested with distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) analysis before the start of the study and 2 weeks after cisplatin treatment.
Results: Guinea pigs given a single intraperitoneal injection of 14 mg/kg cisplatin experience a mean hearing loss of 8 dB across the frequencies of 3.5, 5, 7, 10, 14, and 20 kHz. Intraperitoneal injection of 1.2 mg/kg sodium butyrate per day for 7 days before and 5 days after cisplatin almost completely eliminates this threshold shift (P = .0011).
Conclusions: The histone deacetylase inhibitor sodium butyrate gives almost complete protection in a single-dose model of cisplatin ototoxicity in guinea pigs. Because histone deacetylase inhibitors are anticancer agents with very few side effects, they may be candidates for clinical use during cisplatin chemotherapy.