n South African Medical Journal - High prevalence of cisplatin-induced ototoxicity in Cape Town, South Africa : research

Volume 104, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Cisplatin is administered as the first-line treatment of soft-tissue cancers. It has a reported cure rate of up to 85%, but is associated with a high incidence of ototoxicity, characterised by irreversible bilateral hearing loss and affecting 23 - 50% of adults who receive the drug.

To determine the incidence of cisplatin-induced ototoxicity at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH), Cape Town, South Africa.
A retrospective cross-sectional study of cisplatin-receiving cancer patients attending GSH between January 2006 and August 2011.
A total of 377 patients were recorded as receiving cisplatin therapy during the study period. A 300% increase in new cisplatin-receiving patients receiving audiological monitoring was observed between 2006 and 2010. However, only patients with all clinical data as well as baseline and follow-up audiometric analyses were investigated. One hundred and seven such patients were identified, 55.1% of whom developed cisplatin-induced ototoxicity while receiving high-dose (≥60 mg/m2) cisplatin treatment. Higher cumulative cisplatin dosages were associated with development of significant hearing loss (=0.027). The odds of developing cisplatin-induced hearing loss were elevated for patients with head and neck tumours and lymphoma (=0.0465 and =0.0563, respectively) and were significantly lower for those with reproductive cancers (=0.0371).
Comprehensive audiological monitoring should be available for every patient during cisplatin treatment to minimise the development of disabling hearing loss.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error