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Audiology - Communication Research

versão On-line ISSN 2317-6431


CALDAS, Érica Alessandra  e  DIAS, Rosane da Silva. Ototoxic medications used in treating childhood cancer: a systematic review. Audiol., Commun. Res. [online]. 2018, vol.23, e2007.  Epub 03-Dez-2018. ISSN 2317-6431.


The aim of the present study was to perform a literature review on ototoxic medications used for the treatment of childhood cancer and determine the harm caused by such drugs to the auditory system as well as the methods used to identify this harm.

Search strategy

The electronic databases of the Virtual Health Library (Brazilian Health Ministry), PubMed, Brazilian Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, and Databank of Theses and Dissertations of the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES [Brazilian Coordination for the Advancement of Higher Education Personnel]) were searched for relevant national and international papers involving the pediatric population with a history of treatment for cancer published between 2007 and 2016.

Selection criteria

Observational studies published in Portuguese, English or Spanish with abstracts available and that informed the method for assessing hearing damage.


The final sample consisted of 12 articles. Pure-tone threshold audiometry was the used in ten (84.61%) of the studies and otoacoustic emissions were investigated in 46.15%. All studies involved patients who made use of cisplatin or platinum derivatives. Only one of the studies included in the present review reported no changes in hearing in the population studied.


Platinum derivatives play an important role in the treatment of cancer and are the most widely cited ototoxic agents in studies. The cochlea is the most affected site, specifically the outer hair cells. The most widely used methods for assessing altered hearing are pure-tone threshold audiometry and otoacoustic emissions.

Palavras-chave : Neoplasms; Toxicity; Child; Hearing loss; Drug therapy.

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