Fighting cancer is hard enough without worrying about your child’s hearing, too.
What is Ototoxicity?
The 5-year survival rate for childhood cancers due to major treatment advances is now 85% or higher. Cisplatin-based therapy is an indispensable component of treatment for pediatric solid-tumor cancers; however, an unfortunate side effect of cisplatin-based chemotherapy is irreversible ototoxicity (or hearing loss). Ototoxicity is caused by irreversible damage to hair cells in the cochlea. This damage is generally dose-dependent, bilateral (affecting both ears), and can be progressive. From the very first treatment cycle, pediatric patients can suffer cisplatin-induced ototoxicity that may progressively worsen even after treatment ends.
Hearing loss can be seen in ~60 percent of children treated with cisplatin and can be as high as 90 percent.
How is it Treated?
Previously, intervention only occurred after hearing loss had been detected, and does not return normal hearing. The most common management strategy is the use of lifelong hearing aids, which do not completely reverse hearing loss and require replacements every 3-5 years and may also require amplification technology.4,7 Some children receive difficult to manage cochlear (inner ear) implants, which remain suboptimal in the direct recovery of hearing function and may also require replacement during an individual’s lifetime.
New Preventative Hearing Loss Treatment
PEDMARK is the first and only Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment specifically designed to protect your child’s ears after cisplatin treatment.
It isn’t known exactly how PEDMARK works, but scientists think it may:
Consult with your child’s medical professional about the possible benefits of PEDMARK.