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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Atorvastatin is associated with reduced cisplatin-induced hearing loss in head and neck cancer petients

Cisplatin is widely used to treat cancers. It is the most ototoxic drug in clinical use, resulting in permanent hearing loss in approximately 50% of treated patients. There is a major need for therapies that prevent cisplatin-induced hearing loss. Studies in mice suggest that concurrent use of statins reduces cisplatin-induced hearing loss.

Fernandez and her colleagues (from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and Johns Hopkins University, Maryland ; University of Rochester Medical Center, New York; and Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina; USA) retrospectively examined hearing thresholds from 277 adults treated with cisplatin for head and neck cancer. The results were published in Clinical Trial Journal of Clinical  Investigation in 2021.

Pretreatment and posttreatment audiograms were collected within 90 days of initiation and completion of cisplatin therapy. The primary outcome measure was a change in hearing as defined by the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE).

Among patients on concurrent atorvastatin, 9.7% experienced a CTCAE grade 2 or higher cisplatin-induced hearing loss compared with 29.4% in nonstatin users (P < 0.0001).

 Analysis showed that atorvastatin use was significantly associated with reduced cisplatin-induced hearing loss (P ≤ 0.01). An adjusted odds ratio (OR) analysis indicated that an atorvastatin user is 53% less likely to acquire a cisplatin-induced hearing loss than a nonstatin user (OR = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.30-0.78). Three-year survival rates were not different between atorvastatin users and nonstatin users (P > 0.05).

The data indicate that atorvastatin use is associated with reduced incidence and severity of cisplatin-induced hearing loss in adults being treated for head and neck cancer. A prospective study is currently  conducted to evaluate the efficacy of statins in preventing hearing loss by cisplatin.

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