Socio-demographic impact of platinum-induced ototoxicity in long-term survivors of childhood cancer

PanCareLIFE researchers from EMC and PMC have published ‘Socio-demographic impact of platinum-induced ototoxicity in long-term survivors of childhood cancer’ (Curr Pediatr Res 2017; 21 (3): 470-479).

You can read the full open access publication here.

Objective: Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) treated with platinum-based chemotherapy are at risk of treatment-induced ototoxicity. To date, there is limited knowledge on the effect of ototoxicity on socio-demographic factors, the burden to obtain insurances and psychological distress in CCS.

Design: Of the 653 CCS with completed questionnaires, 54 survivors had been treated with platinum. Ototoxicity (Münster score ≥ 2b) data were retrieved from pure-tone audiometry. All survivors completed a questionnaire consisting of the Distress Thermometer (DT), measuring the severity of distress and was recoded to a 0 (no distress)-10 (extreme distress) scale. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to study the psychological distress (a score ≥ 15 is indicative for clinically significant distress).

Results: Median age at diagnosis was 6.2 years (range: 0.01-17.8) and median follow-up time from end of treatment to questionnaire was 15.6 years (range: 3.2-43.7). There were no differences in attempts to obtain insurances, highest education achievement and (un) employment between platinum-treated survivors and non-platinum treated survivors. Among the 54 platinum-treated CCS, median HADS score of hearing impaired survivors (n=22 (median score: 4.5, range: 0.0-29)) was not significantly different from survivors without ototoxicity (n=32 (median score 5.5, range: 0.0-11, p=0.337)). Similarly, DT scores were not significantly different between survivors with or without ototoxicity (p=0.441). Compared to the 599 non-platinum treated survivors, median HADS and DT scores of platinum-treated survivors were not significantly different.

Conclusion: Based on this first, small study, we didn’t find differences between CCS who suffer from platinum-related ototoxicity and survivors without hearing impairment, suggesting that CCS with ototoxicity do not necessarily encounter more socio-demographic challenges and psychological distress than CCS without ototoxicity.