Scientists studied the deafening effect of cisplatin, a potent drug used to treat many forms of cancer. Doctors prescribe Cisplatin and similar platinum-based drugs for approximately 10 to 20 percent of all cancer patients. It induces deafness in 40 to 80 percent of adult patients and at least half of children who consume it.
National Institute on Deafness and other Communications Disorders (NIDCD) conducted this research. It is a part of the National Institutes of Health. The study appears in Nature Communications. Electro Scientific Industries, Inc., of Bozeman, Montana provided support for data analysis. Intramural Research Program funded this research.
What did the researchers find?
Researchers found that forms of cisplatin build up in the inner ear. They used a highly sensitive technique to identify and map cisplatin in mouse and human inner ear tissues. They also found a region in the inner ear as a potential target for efforts to prevent deafness from cisplatin.
In most areas of the body, cisplatin eliminates after treatment, but in the inner ear, the drug remains much longer. Previous research focused on why the inner ear is more sensitive than other parts of the body to cisplatin-induced damage.
The NIH team pursued a new angle on the problem. It included potential failure of the drug to excrete out of the body. Furthermore, it also included the causation of inner ear cell death due to long-term exposure of cisplatin.
The research team in mouse and human tissue observed the highest storage of cisplatin in a part of the inner ear called the stria vascularis. It is responsible for maintaining the positive electric charge in inner ear fluid that certain cells need to map sound. They determined that cisplatin in the stria vascularis contributed to cisplatin-related deafness.
They integrated a mouse model that represents cisplatin-induced hearing loss seen in human patients. Scientists performed a series of cisplatin treatments on the experimental group of mice.
Cisplatin stayed in mouse ear any longer than in most different tissues that developed with each progressive treatment.
They likewise analyzed internal ear tissue of deceased adult patients.
These patients took cisplatin for their treatment. They saw that cisplatin stays in the internal ear numerous years after treatment. In addition, they likewise investigated internal ear tissue from one kid. There was a cisplatin development in them much higher than identified in grown-ups.
What does this suggest?
These outcomes propose that the inner ear promptly takes up cisplatin. however, it has next to no capacity to expel it. Scientists may be able to protect cancer patients from developing cisplatin-induced hearing loss.
This is possible if they successfully prevent cisplatin from entering the stria vascularis in the inner ear during treatment. It would be a major contribution to cancer patients who have to undergo heavy treatments. This also opens up new pathways for getting rid of the side effects of other cancer medications.